Letter received by Banks from James Wiles and Christopher Smith, 17 December 1792 (Series 52.09) - No. 0001

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H.M.S. Providence in St. Helena Road
Dec. 17th 1792

Sir Joseph

We are happy to inform you, we arrived at St. Helena this morning with such a number of fine healthy Bread fruit and other plants, as we hope will exceed your most sanguine expectation.  When at the Cape of Good Hope we collected 50 pots, containing about 200 plants of Figs, Pomgrantes, Quinces, Vines &c to carry to sea with us, we did this to give us some idea what success we might reasonably expect with our Bread fruit Collection, and to see the real effects sea air and change of climate would have upon them.  

We had also raised from seed 107 Oranges and 20 Limons, and the Pine Plants we brought from England continued very healthy.  Feby 9th, we anchored in Adventure Bay.  The Cape Plants, at this time, were remarkably fine, and our principal loss was a pot of Vine Cuttings which was unfortunately broke by the Sea washing over it.  In this passage, we raised from seed a few Almonds, several Firs, Oranges, Limons and Citrons.  We planted on the rising Ground, the East side of the Bay, 9 Oaks more than 6 inches high, about 100 yards below these, 20 Strawberry plants, 1 Rosemary,and a Spanish Chestnut, near to these in a valley by a rivulet of excellent water 2 Pomgranates, 5 Figs, and 2 Quinces:  These situations are near Mr. Nelson's Garden, the only vestiges remaining of which is a fine young, Apple Tree; we likewise planted water cresses, and on Penguin Island plenty of Fir seed, Almonds, Apricot & Plumb stones. There Sir we collected all the specimens we were able, some of which we hope will be now, besides 31 Pots with upwards of 80 Plants of Banksia, Metrocedera [Metrosidera], Mimosa &c.
We left Van Dieman's Land Feb 27 and arrived at Otaheite [Tahiti] April 9th.  The major part of the plants continued very healthy, but we had lost some particularly the remaining pot of Vine cuttings. Here the Flies were exceeding troublesome, and even destroyed several young Plants before we could take them on shore.  The number, and different kinds of Plants we left on the Island will show how successful we were in the cold disagreeable run from Adventure Bay, they are, 18 Pine Plants, 14 Figs, 2 Pomgranates , 4 Limons , 1 Guava, 1 Almond (raised in the passage) 4 Oranges, 3 Oaks. 1 Myrtle, 2 Aloes, 3 Banksia, 3 Metrocedera, a creeping rumbelliferous plant;  we called Adventure Bay Parsley, between 200 and 300 Seedling Orange, Limons, and Citron plants, a great number of young Palma Christi and seedlings Firs, besides Indian Corn and Kitchen Garden Plants.  

July 11th, we left Otaheite with the following collection of vessels and plants on board, all in the most healthy condition.

1156 Pots, Tubs, and Boxes of Breadfruit
containing - 1686 Plants
37 Ayyahs-  132  Do
25 Avees -  55. 
25 Rattahs-  67
6 Ettons-  21.
6 Matties- 8.

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