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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   24 July [1848]

Dear Darwin

I have but time to acknowlege the receipt of your excellent letter.1 most delighted I was to receive it. & will prepare an answer embodying much news on the points you direct attention to, from Hodgson—2 he is reading your journal with great delight & has given me some excellent pamphlets on breeds &c. for you from As. Soc. Jour.3 Do you know Pallas Memoir on degeneration of animals4 —a work not to be procured I suppose.—

I chiefly write to tell you that I never was in better health; have lost all my pains & ailments. Falconer has been very unwell—is better much—trying to commute English time into service.5 (i.e. washing Ethiop.6 &c)!.— How heartily I wish you were all well, & not only so little better as you announce yourself. Thats a startling fact about Barnacles ♂ ♀. I am rejoiced at your work progressing.

I will write you by next mail, but must break away now. Sincere regards to Mrs D. & love to the bairns

Yr affectionate friend | Jos D Hooker. July 24.

Dorjeeling due N. of Calcutta, 27o N., in Sikim Himalayah. [illeg] 40’ S. of crest of Himal. i.e of 〈    〉 28178 ft. now & now only known to be 〈the h〉ighest in the world!— The measurements of 〈Sur〉v. Gen. announced yesterday!!! were made last season7


Brian Houghton Hodgson, who became a close life-long friend of Hooker. Hooker was staying at Hodgson’s house in Darjeeling at this time (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 248).
One of Hodgson’s papers on Indian domestic breeds from the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (Hodgson 1847) is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. It is lightly annotated.
To wash an Ethiop (white): to attempt the impossible’ (OED).
In a letter to William Jackson Hooker, dated 19 July 1848 (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Indian Letters 1847–51: 93), Hooker stated: We heard of a grand discovery last night brought by the post—from Col Waugh the Surveyor-General—who was here last season measured the Snowy peaks but took his work away to calculate. he writes that the culminant peak 40 miles off due N. & opposite me is 28178 feet high: the highest mountain in the World! … I do hope to get to the Snow on this Giant yet, which rejoices in the name of Kinchin-junga. It was not until 1852 that the Indian Survey established that Chomolungma (Mount Everest) was the highest mountain in the Himalayas.


OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.

Pallas, Pyotr Simon. 1780. Mémoire sur la variation des animaux; première partie. Acta Academiæ Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanæ (1780 pt 2): 69–102.


Brian Hodgson reading CD’s Journal of researches with delight.

Forwarding breeding pamphlets.

JDH recommends P. S. Pallas on degeneration.

CD’s facts on sex in barnacles startling.

Hugh Falconer’s health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (India letters 1847–51: 94 JDH/1/10)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1193,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4