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Markham's tribute to Cross on one of the Chinchona missions to Loxa
Mr Cross's report is exceedingly interesting, because very few really observant travellers have ever gone over the same ground,and
even Humbolt, who visted Popayan never penetrated into the forests which were carefully examined by Mr Cross.
The Report also contains valuable information respecting the climate of the Pitayo Region, which will be very serviceable
to cultivators in INdia. Mr Cross deserves great credit for the skilful and energetic way in which he performed a difficult
task, and for his courage and perseverance in facing dangers and hardships of no ordinary nature....
Cross's Chinchona collection from South America formed the basis of the entire Indian stock...
According to a Report compiled by the Superintendent of the Government Chinchona Plantations to the Commissioner of Nigiris
dated 12 July 1873...
The entire collection of Mr Markham and Mr Pritchett ( another gardener on the project ) perished from confinement in
Wardian cases...the only plants which survived long confinment in cases were those brought by Mr Cross to Madras. These plants
survived because Mr Cross kept the cases open, and daily forked up the earth about the roots. From these latter plants the
Nigiris stock was raised.....
Dictionary of National Biography page 839
Under the entry for Richard Spruce the following acknowledgment of Cross's contribution is recorded.
In 1859 he ( Spruce ) was commissioned by the India office to collect seeds and young plants of the cinchona for India,
and succeeded in procuring on the western slope of Chimborazo one hundred thousand seeds and six hundred plants, which he
conveyed to Guayaquil; thence Robert Cross transported them to India.
Royal Geographical Society, London
In the Library Catalogue of 1893 referring to Sir Clements Markham's address of 26 November 1877 on the Unexplored Parts
of South America he states:-
Modern travellers will have to emulate the daring of these searchers for El Dorado ( Markham mentions Fedreman, Quesada,
Philip von Huten in this context )..in the rediscovery of the now unknown region. But its exploration is undoubedly a matter
of great geographical interest. Morover, there are many parts of the Colombian Andes which need further examination. I may
mention that I have despatched that admirable collector, Mr Robert Cross, no less than three times to obtain valuable species
of Chinchona plants in the forests of Popayan and the Upper Magdelena, and on every occasion his work has involved more or
less of geographical discovery ...
Robert Cross's Life's Work
One word sums it up ...service.
That is to say ..service to his country and to his fellow man.
Family intimation of his death
The Kirkintilloch Gazette March 10th 1911
Deaths : CROSS : At West Cottage, Balgrochan, Torrance of Campsie on the 1st instant ROBERT MACKENZIE CROSS ( formerly
of KILMARONOCK ) aged 76 years.
The informant of the death was Robert's nephew James McLelland, Bank Manager and Inspector of Poor at Cadder.
The same year, 1911, Robert's brother William Paterson Cross died at Greenock.
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