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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Scott   [after 8 January 1868]1

Dear Sir—

As you have asked my opinion, on the advantages of removing the C.B.G. to some other site,2 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.3

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.


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


McCracken, Donal P. 1997. Gardens of empire: botanical institutions of the Victorian British empire. London and Washington: Leicester University Press.


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

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Scott
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 116v
Physical description
AdraftS 1p (on 5351)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5352,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16