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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Julius von Haast   6 August 18631

Christchurch Canterbury NZ.

Aug 6. 1863.

My dear Dr Darwin!

Our mutual friend Dr Hooker tells me, that he could not deliver to you my enclosed letter of December,2 because it miscarried in some way, fortunately I sent a copy of it in March, so that you will now be aware of its contents.3 A few days ago I had a letter from Mr. Petschler of Auckland, who thinks, he will very soon be able to obtain the frog in question.4 I had the pleasure of sending you by the bookpost a map of the Province of Canterbury, the first product of our new lithographic-press.5 I have marked in different colours my various journeys; from the diagram upwards the country was unexplored and unsurveyed so that I had to construct also the topographical map.

I also marked Dr Hector’s (the Otago geologist) line of journey,6 who in crossing the Alps near the boundary of both Provinces, came upon a river flowing in a northerly direction, and thus came into our Province. When within 8 or ten miles of the sea he had to return, from want of Provisions. Another journey is also marked, that of the late Mr Whitcombe a very accomplished surveyor,7 who was drowned, begin of Mai, at the mouth of the R. Teramakau (Westcoast). Unfortunately his field book was lost and the only thing found on the body, was the map on which the course of the Okitiki was traced, which has been copied in this map.

In looking over the map, you will without doubt observe, that your name adorns one of our snowy giants.8 It was the only feeble tribute which one of your zealous adherents could offer you.—

Believe me ever | most faithfully yours | Julius Haast.


At CD’s request, Haast had written to Charles Petschler, asking him to obtain a specimen of the native New Zealand frog (see Correspondence vol. 10, letter from Julius von Haast, 9 December 1862); Charles Petschler was a merchant with premises at Vulcan Lane, Auckland, New Zealand (Chapman’s New Zealand Almanac 1862). On CD’s interest in the native New Zealand frog, see Correspondence vol. 10, letter to J. D. Hooker, 21 [September 1862] and n. 7.
The map has not been found.
James Hector served as the provincial geologist for Otago, New Zealand (DNZB). Haast refers to Hector’s expedition along the Matukituki River in February and March 1863. CD had received a newspaper report of the expedition through Hooker (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 19 June 1863 and n. 3).
John Henry Whitcombe was the provincial surveyor for Canterbury, New Zealand (DNZB).
Mount Darwin is in the Southern Alps of New Zealand (J. F. J. von Haast 1862b, p. 127).


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.


Sends a map of the province of Canterbury, marking his own and other explorations.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Francis Julius (Julius) von Haast
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 166: 5
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4264,” accessed on 28 May 2023,

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