Hawalbagh (India): 18th Dec. 1815. Quarto (ca. 25x20 cm). 6 pp. Brown ink on beige wove paper. Original fold marks, otherwise in very good condition.
An historically important letter written by Gardner from Hawalbagh during the ratification period of the Treaty of Segauli. The letter starts with information about Nepali troop strength in Kumaon which "does not appear to be above four or five hundred men at present" Other Nepalese troops "are said to have gone to the East towards Nepal." Generally of the Nepalese troops "there does not seem to be any of that bustle among them that one would expect on the eve of an invasion notwithstanding the warlike preparations on our side - it certainly has not the appearance of war on the part of the Gurkhas." Also mentioned is a letter Gardner received from Colonel Gardiner from the Gurakhpur frontier where Gardiner says "nobody knows anything about the Gurkhas in that quarter. That they are neither seen nor heard of or appear from what he can learn, to be making any preparations for defence, however in not seeing them he says is no proof that they are unprepared for us."
Gardner "played a crucial role in bringing Nepal into treaty relations with the British in India"(Watson, Lost Botanist of Nepal). For his services Gardner was rewarded by being made Resident (Honoray Consul) to the court of the Rajah in Kathmandu in 1816, where he remained as Resident for the next 14 years; "With his deep understanding and strong liking of the people of Nepal, he was the perfect person for the job and against the odds he largely succeeded"(Watson). Gardner was also a passionate plant collector but his "prolific collections and his pioneering contribution to Himalayan botany are largely unknown to modern botanists"(Watson).
Price: $950.00 USD