skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To F. J. Cohn   26 September [1876]1

Down. | Beckenham, Kent. (&c.)

Septr. 26.

My dear Sir,

I am much obliged for your kind note & the present of the volume.2 I did not know that you were still in England—otherwise I should have written to you. I saw that you were at Glasgow, but we were then suffering terrible grief from the sudden death of a dear daughter-in-law & some anxiety from a very dangerous accident to one of my sons. and we thought we should have to leave home,—3 But we are now more tranquil— If you could spare the time it would give me the greatest pleasure to see you here though I am not capable of prolonged conversation  I would suggest your coming here, by the train which leaves Charing Cross at 11o—35′ for Orpington Stn. & you could return by the train which leaves Orpington at 4o— 33′ If you would let me hear on what day you could come (if this is possible) I would send a carriage to meet you— If Mrs. Cohn would accompany you, it would give my wife much pleasure.4

We expect to see Häckel here today.5

With the greatest respect | Believe me. | My dear Sir. | Yours sincerely. | Charles Darwin.


The year is established by the reference to Cohn’s visit (see n. 4, below).
Cohn’s note has not been found; he had sent a copy of the journal Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen, vol. 2, no. 2 (see letter to Francis Darwin, 27 [September 1876] and nn. 3 and 4).
Cohn had attended the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Glasgow (6–13 September 1876), after which he went to London for the Loan Collection of Scientific Apparatus, an international exposition of scientific instruments held at South Kensington from May to December 1876. Cohn was a member of the official German delegation to the exposition (Klemm 2002, p. 234). William Erasmus Darwin was recovering from a concussion he had suffered following a riding accident (see letter to Andrew Clark, [late June 1876] and n. 3). CD’s daughter-in-law, Amy Darwin, had died on 11 September 1876; the Darwins were caring for their grandson, Bernard Darwin, while Francis Darwin was in Wales for his wife’s funeral (see letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 16 September 1876, nn. 1 and 2).
Cohn, together with his wife, Pauline Cohn, and a colleague, Ferdinand Römer, visited on 28 September 1876 (letter from Emma Darwin to Leonard Darwin, [29 September 1876] (DAR 239.23: 1.51)).
Ernst Haeckel visited CD on 26 September 1876 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Klemm, Margot. 2002. Ferdinand Julius Cohn 1828–1898: Pflanzenphysiologe, Mikrobiologe, Begründer der Bakteriologie. Stuttgart: University of Stuttgart.


Invites him to visit Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ferdinand Julius Cohn
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 265
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10618,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24