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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Farrer   [4 March 1878]1

4. Bryanston St.

Monday.

My dear Farrer.

As you have been so very kind, I should like to report Progress on Potato Question—2 Mr Caird called yesterday, and I was very glad to see him   nobody could be more energetic & obliging. I quite forgot to return to him the enclosed documents, & this is one reason why I now write to you—3

The Agricult. Soc. will not do, as Mr Caird will explain— I am sure there is very little weight in Mr. Carruther’s objections.4

Mr. Torbitt telegraphs. that now he has got my £100, seeds shall be sown tomorrow.5 He says that to continue work with the tubers also. he ought to have another £100— He adds that he hopes he may be able to go on next year without money aid— I have written advising him to moderate the extent of his trials.6 Mr Caird took away the long letter which I had written to you when we thought of the Agricult Soc— He asked whether he might show it to anyone & I agreed but I could have improved it greatly. so far as relates to shewing anyone that it is the most hopeful scheme.—7

I daresay if I had strength to get up a memorial with a few good signatures we might have got a small grant from Government; but I have not the strength.

Hooker writes strongly that he believes the plan to be the right one; & has given analogous advice to coffee growers in India—8 Mr Caird did not seem to think it hopeless to get aid somehow; but I doubt greatly.

I shall ever feel obliged for your kindness and wisdom of your advice. | Yours very truly. | Ch. Darwin.

Footnotes

The date is established by the reference to James Caird’s visit (see n. 3, below). In 1878, 4 March fell on Monday.
Farrer supported James Torbitt’s project for breeding blight-resistant potatoes (see letter from T. H. Farrer, 28 February 1878).
James Caird had visited CD in London on 3 March 1878 (see letter to James Torbitt, 4 March 1878). The enclosed documents have not been identified.
William Carruthers was botanist to the Royal Agricultural Society of England; on his objections to Torbitt’s project, see the letter from James Caird to T. H. Farrer, 2 March 1878.
The telegram has not been found. CD had pledged £100 to enable Torbitt to continue his experiments for another season (see letter to James Torbitt, 1 March 1878).

Summary

Agricultural Society will not do potato experiments. Torbitt telegraphs that seeds to be sown tomorrow. Memorial with a few signatures might get grant from Government. Hooker believes plan the right one.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-11397
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Sent from
London, Bryanston St, 4
Source of text
DAR 144: 89
Physical description
2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11397,” accessed on 21 September 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-11397.xml

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