The diary of Gardner’s Travels in the interior

Letter from George Gardner to Joseph [Dalton Hooker]; from Pernambuco [Brazil]; 24 May 1838George Gardner’s Catalogue, whilst dividing his Travels into major sections of his collections (by state or sections of his journey) is a poor indicator of when plants were collected as he often numbered his collections at the end of each day, or segment of the journey – the localities are often extremely mixed. Working with the Travels text I have provided his itinerary in the form of a diary, together with relevant notes pertinent to where he stayed, or problems in ascertaining where he was, and for how long he stayed in a particular locality.

Note: Dates preceded with ‘*’ are specific dates mentioned by Gardner in ‘Travels in the interior ...’. Other dates are implied from Gardner’s account; problematic sections of the itinerary are mentioned. The days on which these dates fell are taken from a perpetual calendar. Figures in brackets are the pages on which the dates are mentioned or implied, taken from the widely available second edition of the Travels. Place spellings are as used by Gardner.


Poem by George Gardner

Diary example: Chapter 8

Gardner spent four months in Oeiras collecting widely around the area and finally left the city on Monday 22nd July 1839 bound eventually for Rio de Janeiro overland. Gardner misses out accounts for his travels over the next few days after leaving Oeiras.

  • Monday 29th July 1839 [212]: reached Algodoes having passed through Pombas and running along a large lake ending at Algodoes where Gardner remained for a day.

  • [213] Tuesday 30th July 1839: apparently collected around Algodoes for the day.

  • *Wednesday 31st July 1839 [214]: left Algodoes passing through Golfes, Retiro Alegre before spending the night at Genipapo.

  • [215] Thursday 1st August 1839: left Genipapo and arrived at Canavieira for breakfast.

  • [215] Friday 2nd August 1839: stayed in Canavieira for the day.

  • Saturday 3rd August 1839 [215]: left Canavieira crossing the Rio Gurgea reaching Fazenda dos Prazeres after sunset. Gardner remained at the Fazenda for two days.

  • [217] Tuesday 6th August 1839: left Fazenda dos Prazeres passing through Flores in crossing the Rio Gurgea and stopping finally at Rapoza.

  • It isn’t clear when Gardner left Rapoza for the Villa de Parnagua. Gardner states that it was fourteen leagues journey. Since he made sixteen leagues on 6th we can assume he managed fourteen in one day so by implication [219] he left for Villa de Parnagua on Wednesday 7th August 1839. He presumably stayed there for several days walking in the neighbourhood collecting. If the dates in the next chapter are corrected he actually spent three weeks there, but there are no accounts for this period.