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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin to F. E. Abbot   20 December 1875

Bassett | Southampton

Dec 20. 1875

My dear Sir,

My Father Mr Charles Darwin and myself have read the Index almost from the commencement with great interest and have sympathized deeply with you, in your noble & determined struggle with the difficulties in your way.1

We wish you to be so good as to make use of the enclosed sum in any way you may think best for the advancement of your undertaking.2

Please to consider this as a private letter as I have no authority otherwise from my Father.3

Should you think it best to make it a subscription to the Index stock, please put it in my name alone.

Your paper is a weekly pleasure and stimulus to myself and to some of my friends who take it in.

with much respect | Believe me | yours faithfully | W. E. Darwin

F E Abbot Esq


Abbot was editor of the Index, an American periodical that supported free religious thought.
William had suggested that he and CD send a donation to Abbot (see letter from W. E. Darwin, [15? December 1875]). In January 1876, Abbot expressed his thanks for the sum of £20 (see Correspondence vol. 24, letter from F. E. Abbot to W. E. Darwin, 19 January 1876).
Abbot had previously wanted to publish extracts from CD’s letters that showed his support for the Index, even though CD expressed reservations about having his views publicised in this way (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 19, letter to F. E. Abbot, 6 September [1871]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Sends some money on behalf of himself and his father to help with FEA’s problems with the Index.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10311,” accessed on 23 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23