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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   29 November 1844

West Park Kew

Novr. 29. 1844.

My dear Darwin

I am ashamed of not having written before, but have not been able to tell when I should be able to get down to Bromley, on account of Mr Bentham’s coming here next week & Profr. Henslow the following. I find however that I have Saturday & Sunday 7th. & 8th. to spare: if perfectly convenient to Mrs Darwin & yourself I should much enjoy a run down & look at your habitat. Do you want any observations made in New Zeald: I have a friend now there, a fair naturalist & acute careful observer, who is going to the Middle & Southern Islds. he is a Surgeon R.N. now acting Colonial Secretary to Gr. Fitzroy.—1 We had a long letter from Capt Sulivan the other day from the Plate— 2

Brown (in Congo) says that the level of the sea in Tropics is not so rich in species as the temperate zone (or words to that effect), I never remarked that any one had said so before.3

I find, even down to the lower orders, the plants of Ascension are totally different from those of St. Helena. this is most remarkable as regards the Ferns.—of which there are 9 Ascension sp. only 2 (I think) of which are St. Helena’s.. Even the Jungermanniæ are different!— I expect no parallel to this is on record.

Ever your’s most truly | Jos D Hooker

CD annotations

crossed pencil
‘Is not wind cross ways?? Surely not.’added ink


Andrew Sinclair, who was colonial secretary in New Zealand, 1844–56. Robert FitzRoy was governor, 1843–5 (Mellersh 1968, pp. 207–35).
Bartholomew James Sulivan, previously a lieutenant in the Beagle, had been appointed captain of the surveying vessel Philomel on active duty in the Falklands and on the coast of South America from 1842 to 1846.
Brown 1818, p. 422.


Brown, Robert. 1818. Observations, systematical and geographical, on Professor Christian Smith’s collection of plants from the vicinity of the river Congo. Appendix 5 of Narrative of an expedition to explore the river Zaire, usually called the Congo, in South Africa, in 1816, under the direction of Capt. J. K. Tuckey, R.N., by James Kingston Tuckey. London. [Facsimile reprint. London: Frank Cass and Co. 1967.]

Mellersh, Harold Edward Leslie. 1968. FitzRoy of the Beagle. London: Rupert Hart-Davis.


Would like to visit on the weekend of 7–8 December.

Differences in floras of St Helena and Ascension.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 100: 28
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 795,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3