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SERIES — Box: 4, Folder: 1-5 Identifier: III EHW, W.II

First Expedition to China for Messrs. Veitch, 1899-1902

Dates

  • 1899-1902

General Physical Description note

NOTE: Asiatic place names are Romanized according to Wilson's personal system and do not necessarily conform to either historic or current standards. The main purpose of this trip was to collect the elusive Dove Tree, Davidia involucrata which had first been discovered by the French missionary Père Armand David (1826-1900) in Sichuan Province near the Tibetan border. James Herbert Veitch's (1868-1907) directive to Wilson stated that, "The object of the journey is to collect a quantity of seeds of a plant (Davidia) ... This is the object—do not dissipate time, energy or money on anything else." Wilson traveled to Ichang via Boston, San Francisco, and Hong Kong to Yunnan, where he met fellow explorer Augustine Henry (1857-1930). Wilson used Ichang as his headquarters, and following Henry's advice, searched for the Dove Tree in Western Hupeh and Szechuan and along the Yangtze River. Eventually he found several fruiting trees reportedly sent 14,875 of seeds of Davidia involucrata to the Veitch nurseries. Material in this series includes the handwritten "agreement" between Wilson and Messrs. Veitch, a notebook kept by the Veitch firm on seeds received from Wilson between 1899 and 1905, and notations by Wilson on "Hosie's itinerary," published in Three years in western China; a narrative of three journeys in Ssŭ-ch'uan, Kuei-chow, and Yün-nan, written in 1887 by Sir Alexander Hosie (1853-1925). Also in this series is Wilson's plant collection notebook which also contains shipment lists, propagation data, and other lists. Collection numbers of seeds from this trip: 1-1310. Collection numbers of herbarium specimens: 1-2800. No dates are given and field localities are not in a logical sequence. (Howard) The correspondence from this expedition is available in Series W.VII. Travel documents, mainly Chinese passports, are in Series W.XI.

Container Summary NOTE: Asiatic place names are Romanized according to Wilson's personal system and do not necessarily conform to either historic or current standards. The main purpose of this trip was to collect the elusive Dove Tree, Davidia involucrata which had first been discovered by the French missionary Père Armand David (1826-1900) in Sichuan Province near the Tibetan border. James Herbert Veitch's (1868-1907) directive to Wilson stated that, "The object of the journey is to collect a quantity of seeds of a plant (Davidia) ... This is the object—do not dissipate time, energy or money on anything else." Wilson traveled to Ichang via Boston, San Francisco, and Hong Kong to Yunnan, where he met fellow explorer Augustine Henry (1857-1930). Wilson used Ichang as his headquarters, and following Henry's advice, searched for the Dove Tree in Western Hupeh and Szechuan and along the Yangtze River. Eventually he found several fruiting trees reportedly sent 14,875 of seeds of Davidia involucrata to the Veitch nurseries. Material in this series includes the handwritten "agreement" between Wilson and Messrs. Veitch, a notebook kept by the Veitch firm on seeds received from Wilson between 1899 and 1905, and notations by Wilson on "Hosie's itinerary," published in Three years in western China; a narrative of three journeys in Ssŭ-ch'uan, Kuei-chow, and Yün-nan, written in 1887 by Sir Alexander Hosie (1853-1925). Also in this series is Wilson's plant collection notebook which also contains shipment lists, propagation data, and other lists. Collection numbers of seeds from this trip: 1-1310. Collection numbers of herbarium specimens: 1-2800. No dates are given and field localities are not in a logical sequence. (Howard) The correspondence from this expedition is available in Series W.VII. Travel documents, mainly Chinese passports, are in Series W.XI.

Terms of Access

This collection is open for research. Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Extent

20 linear feet

Repository Details

Part of the Arnold Arboretum Archives Repository

The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library is a specialized collection devoted to the study of temperate woody plants. We collect works on botany, horticulture, floras, urban forestry and taxonomy. The library contains more than 25,000 volumes and 40,000 photographs, and includes an archive that both documents the Arboretum's history and is a repository for 19th, 20th, and 21st century horticultural and botanical collections.

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