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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   19 June 1863

[Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew]

June 19/63.

Dr. Darwin,

did you not ask me some weeks back about a letter from Haast to you—1 I have just heard from him that some of his letters were lost before leaving N.Z.—& he sends me a copy of his former letter to me—& it encloses one for you, which I forwarded 2 days ago to Down.2 I hope that it contains what you want— He has sent me a most interesting newspaper journal of his travels across the plains;3 & Hector has sent by same mail, a more interesting but less successful account—4 I will send both to you when my Father5 (in Norfolk) returns them—together with Hector’s letter.

How are you all?— we are all well—& settled at Kew for a long spell— though I think I shall steal a Sunday for Down ere long, & see you with my own eyes.

I forwarded to you today from Linn. Soc. a curious pamphlet about sneezing6

Ev yr aff | Jos D Hooker


No letter from CD to Hooker containing such an inquiry has been found, but see the letter from J. D. Hooker, [30 April 1863] and n. 2. The reference is to the letter from Julius von Haast, 9 December 1862 (Correspondence vol. 10), which is thought to have been enclosed with Haast’s letter to Hooker of 10 December 1862 (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Director’s correspondence 174 (New Zealand letters, 1854–1900): 281–2).
With a letter to Hooker of 5 March 1863, Haast enclosed a copy of his letter to Hooker of 10 December 1862 (see n. 1, above); with the same letter, Haast forwarded his letter to CD of 5 March 1863, which, in turn, enclosed a copy of Haast’s letter to CD of 9 December 1862. Haast’s letter to Hooker of 5 March 1863 has not been found, but details of its enclosures are given in Hooker’s letter to Haast of 19 June 1863 (Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, MS. papers 37.96; see also H. F. von Haast 1948, p. 289).
Hooker probably refers to articles in the Christchurch Press, 1 April 1863, pp. 1–2, and 2 April 1863, pp. 2–3; these articles described Haast’s 1862–3 expedition in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s Middle Island (now South Island) (see the enclosure to the letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 April 1863 and n. 28; and Hooker’s letter to Haast, dated 19 June 1863, in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, MS. papers 37.96; see also H. F. von Haast 1948, p. 289).
James Hector was the provincial geologist in Otago province, New Zealand; between January and March 1863, he undertook an expedition to discover a practicable land route to the west coast from the eastern part of the province, only to be forced to turn back within sight of the coast, owing to a shortage of supplies (DNZB). The reference is apparently to an article entitled ‘Dr. Hector’s Expedition. Successful penetration to the West Coast to within sight of the sea, and eight miles of the shore’, which appeared in the Otago Daily Times, 19 March 1863, p. 5.
Hooker refers to a presentation copy of Haliburton 1863, which had been sent to CD at the Linnean Society. Following a general introduction, the pamphlet gave an account entitled ‘The unity of origin of the human race, proved by the universality of certain superstitions connected with sneezing’ (Haliburton 1863, pp. 9–14). CD’s copy of the pamphlet is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DNZB: A dictionary of New Zealand biography. Edited by G. H. Scholefield. 2 vols. Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Internal Affairs. 1940. The dictionary of New Zealand biography. Edited by W. H. Oliver et al. 5 vols. Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Internal Affairs [and others]. 1990–2000.

Haast, Heinrich Ferdinand von. 1948. The life and times of Sir Julius von Haast, explorer, geologist, museum builder. Wellington, New Zealand: privately published.

Haliburton, Robert Grant. 1863. New materials for the history of man, derived from a comparison of the customs and superstitions of nations. Halifax, Nova Scotia: n.p.


Has heard from Julius von Haast that some of his letters were lost before leaving New Zealand. Haast’s enclosure for CD has been forwarded.

Haast and James Hector have both sent accounts of their travels in New Zealand.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 151
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4216,” accessed on 29 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11