From Julius von Haast 12 May – 2 June 1867
Christchurch N Z.
12 May 1867
My dear Mr Darwin
I have had the pleasure of receiving your valued letter of the 27th of February, in which you enclose some queries about Expression, which I consider of very high importance for generalisations concerning the human species, if, as I hope you are able to obtain sufficient material.1 As far as I am aware, nobody has ever tried to use thus psychological expressions in comparing them with each other & perhaps with those of the higher Mammalia for ethnological studies and I need scarcely tell you with what impatience I am expecting the results of your investigations on that important subject. I had at once your queries copied & sent them to the following Gentlemen.
1.) Fenton Chief Judge of the Native Court in Auckland
2). Revd. W. Colenso, the capital botanist in Napier Hawkes Bay
3) W. Buller FL.S. ornothologist, a Native Judge in Wanganui
4) The Revd I. Stack a Maori Missionary in Kaipoi; the first three in the northern, the last in this or South Island. No 2 & 3 are great Darwinians & 1 & 4 also very liberal minded men & I have no doubt, that they will furnish you with a great deal of reliable & valuable material.2
I do not know if you have written to Dr Hector in Wellington,3 but in any case I shall have two other copies prepared and send him one & the other to Mr Wm. Mantell FGS also a very clever Maori scholar & excellent observer.4
Unfortunately I shall not be able to furnish you with any observations of mine, as I am not within reach of the natives, but I am certain that these Gentlemen will be able to give all the necessary information. I told them to send their answers either direct to you or to me for transmission.—5 Hooker’s second volume of the Handbook of the N. Z. flora6 came by last mail & you may imagine with what avidity I went through it— The two volumes form a most excellent compact work and which will be of far greater use to the Colony, than we can at present conceive, as it will awake the minds of many colonists to look round them in their country of adoption & read the book of Nature, instead of solely money-grubbing. I think one of the greatest triumphs of modern Science has been to popularise it and thus open the lofty halls of knowledge also to those, whose ordinary occupations would formerly have prevented them from entering.
I am expecting your new work7 with great impatience from my London agent & trust that your health will allow you to work for many years without interruption In a few weeks I shall have the pleasure of sending you another little work of mine, which will make you acquainted with the head waters of the Rakaia, one of our large alpine rivers.8
With best wishes believe me my dear Mr Darwin | ever yours very sincerely | Julius Haast.
Three of my correspondents have already written & will answer your questions most conscienciously.—
Chs. Darwin Esqre
FRS etc etc
Down Bromley Kent.
JvH will help with expression queries. Considers CD’s investigation highly important and original. Sends list of men to whom he is sending copies of the questions.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5534,” accessed on 25 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5534