[] Kew October 28 62 Dear [Asa] Gray I have 3 letters to thank you for, 2 this week. I am getting another photograph done wh[ich] I will send you when ready. Bentham *1 has written you about the "Genera Plantarum" for which as thanks, I will send the copies in the autumn box of distributa very soon. I hope. Now for Dawson*2, I cannot thank you too much for sending me his letter, because for he had sent an me a copy of his pamphlet, with mss criticism, as notes, on my essay, which were hardly intelligeable[sic] to me. I had put this on one side till Welwitschia was off my hands, to answer it at leisure. The letter you sent clears up much of his obscurity, & I cannot feel too grateful for your confidence in sending it to me. I should perhaps not prejudge him in your eyes by telling you, that I fear he knows thinks that I have quashed some of his [] fossil (coal) Bot[anical] work papers sent to [the] Geolog[ical] Soc[iety]. These were referred to me & I had to do this more than once, & always with intense pain, & with full knowledge that Lyell (who cannot keep a secret) would let it out. So I always refused to report alone on his papers, & always had Bunbury*3 associated with me (who entirely agreed with me). There was always much good matter in his papers, but he wes i was so ignorant of structural & phys[ical] Bot[any], that he neither understood structure, nor could describe either tissues[?] or ferns with the rudest attempt approach to scientific accuracy. In this case it is however his hatred of Darwinism & "Natural Selection" that urges him against my essay, as his letter reveals. However his letter is a good an honest one & I quite see its main force, e.g. which is that I should have boldly said begun, "This is a Botanical description, I ignore all geolog[ical] theory but the one proved fact, that there was a glacial epoch & that [] the Northern Flora has not materially specifically changed since. I hold all theories as to submergence of land &c. as unproven problematical." Now as to Dawson's specific complaints, he really must, as you say, have written read my essay most carelessly. The points for discussion are marked in pencil on it. I. I nowhere assume (or allude to the subject) that the northern land subsided! & I most certainly do not admit the Geological evidence of such subsidence, it depends I believe wholly on distribution of blocks, drift &c. &c. which Geologists in this country are daily more & more regarding as subareial[sic], & not submarine phenomena. II. A glacial land connection between Greenland & Scandinavia does not in the least influence my vers views or statements. Nor, if proved, will it "explain any of the facts", if, as I guess the present Scandinavian Flora is was then far south in Europe. lll. "Scandinavia is as cold as Greenland" by all means, -- colder I should say for my hypothesis sake! IV. The wide Eastern sea separating Scand[inavia] from [the] rest of Europe is another [] fine hypothesis -- true or false it does not in the least concern me. V. Scandinavia's rich flora must be quite modern &c. all this is basically what I think & say. -- it is of course the Gulf stream that carried caused the warmth that brought up so many plants to Lapland. VI. The separation of Greenland is just what I have assumed as the cause for the post glacial northern migration not having spread to Greenland! VII. This I do not at all understand. How can the western direction of the old world mountains affect the Arctic Flora? Except by as I have shown, by causing producing a differentce of types between Arctic Europe & Alpine Europe; which does not exist between America Arctic & America Alpine -- further, the Scandinavian Mts & Ural are not E[astern] & W[estern] chains! Again what can glacial migration of annualsxx have to do with it when there are no arctic annuals! xx I see it is animals not annuals, -question if so then why does not this migration of perennials introduce the Iceland caltha &c., &c., &c., into Greenland?*4 Lastly the only Botanical omission he has found out is Potentilla 3.dentata, a N.U.S.[?] .[Northern United States?] plant omitted accidently, & as to haste you know how long it took me & I [] may add that the Geolog[ical] part was carefully revised by a very old hand & by a very young one too, (Hector)*5 who had all Canadian & American northern Geology at his fingers' ends, & twice revised the work. -- I shall write to Dawson as soon as I have time, & send him through you a copy also of the Australian Essay! Oct[ober] 29[th] Lyell*6 came to us last night, & I took the opportunity of asking him about my Geology -- he has no fault to find, & holds the Arctic subsidence of which Dawson makes so much in his essay note to me, as no way proved, & a mere hypothosis -- he quite agrees as far as he can see with my Geology & conclusions, & will now go into the subject. -- he says poor Dawson is in a great way about his, (Lyell's), taking up Darwinism. xEntre nous Lyell thinks D[awson] a man of very bonnie intellect just very zealous good honest & faithful.*7 Lyell is well you will be glad to hear & Lady L[yell]. who came with him, blooming. I had seen neither for 6 months! His book on Man will be out in a few weeks. I shall in writing to Dawson, make no allusion, to any points not opened up by his remarks critical notes in his essay as sent to me; they are pretty [] much the same as those he writes to you about, but not so clearly put. After all the struggle is now commencing between the relative value of Geological evidence drawn from existing distribution & variation of species; & past positions with apparent fixity of fossil species. As to evidence of upheaval & downheaval they are always good for no more than they show. We know that what is as[?] now up was once down, but who knows what & how much of what now is down below oceans was once up! & "de non existentibus et non apparent<ibus eadem est ratio>*8 &c. &c. &c." -- especially with Geologists. The difficulty however with Dawson is that he cannot be expected to feel the force of the facts in distribution & variation which we want explained -- still less can he feel how totally inadequate pure Geolog[ical] considerations are to solve them. In the present state of science these questions must be argued for 2 points of view, the [] purely biological, & the purely geological. & no hypothesis can stand that does real violence to either -- any hypothesis is an advance which correlates any important facts in both, & that is best to which all facts lend themselves. -- & further than this no one can go: for the best theories like that of gravity are only makeshifts. Latent heat was first a speculation, then a theory, then a fact established; & now it is a myth! -- so were absolute specific creations; -- & so may creation by variation be. So[?] is not 2 nerves going to the nucleus of every ovule in both ♀ & ♂ flowers of Welwitschia -- I will send you a set of the plates when they are struck off, by post. I am so glad you have taken up Cypripedium. A thousand thanks for Asimina. Have you thought any more about a systematic resumé of American Flora? I am so anxious you should do this for your reputations sake as well as for Botany & posterity. Do [] think of it. I am plodding away at Gen[era] Plant[arum] it is delightful to come across Genera defined by you. Ev[er] your aff[ectionate] J D Hooker. [signature] ENDNOTES 1. George Bentham CMG FRS (1800 --1884), was a British botanist who donated his herbarium of more than 100,000 specimens to Kew. He spent 27 years with Joseph Hooker in research and examination of specimens for the work Genera Plantarum. 2. Sir John William Dawson (1820 -- 1899), was a renowned palaeontologist, principal of McGill University and 1st President of the Royal Society of Canada. He was a prolific critic of organic development and Darwinism. Joseph Hooker ensured that Dawson's Bakerian Lecture, a seminal work on Devonian plants, to the Royal Society, was rejected for publication. 3. Sir Charles Bunbury (1809 - 1886), was a man of private means who was free to indulge his love of botany, with a special interest in fossils. 4. This sentence is written up the left hand margin of the page. [] 5. James Hector (1834 - 1907) was a Scottish geologist. He was surgeon & geologist on the government expedition to the Western parts of British North America 1857 - 60. He became Director of the Meteorological department of the New Zealand Institute, of the Colonial Museum, & of the Botanical Garden, Wellington 1866 -1903. 6. Sir Charles Lyell (1797 -- 1875) was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology. 7. This sentence is written up the left hand margin of page 5. 8. This translates "non existent or non apparent the argument is the same." Please note that work on this transcript is ongoing. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document where possible.