skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Galton   7 July [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

July 7th

My dear Galton

I return the enclosed signed with very great pleasure.—2

Many thanks for information about Dr. Barths work which I will read.3

I continue much interested about all domestic animals of all savage nations, though I shall not take up cattle in detail.4 If on reading I shd. have anything to ask I will accept your kind offer & ask.— Anything about savages taking any the least pain in breeding & crossing their domestic animals is of particular interest to me.

With kind remembrances to Mrs Galton,5 pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin.


Dated by the reference to ‘Dr. Barths work’ (see n. 3, below).
The item has not been identified, although it may have related to the Royal Geographical Society, of which Francis Galton was honorary secretary. Galton had been elected to the position in May 1857. CD had been a fellow since 1838.
The German geographer and traveller Heinrich Barth, a member of the British expedition to explore North and Central Africa, 1849–55, returned to England in September 1855 and began writing up an account of his African travels. The first three volumes of Barth 1857–8 were published between 15 and 30 May 1857 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 June 1857, p. 230).
CD discussed the origins and variations of domestic cattle in Variation 1: 79–93.
Francis Galton had married Louisa Jane Butler in 1853.


Barth, Heinrich. 1857–8. Travels and discoveries in North and Central Africa: being a journal of an expedition undertaken under the auspices of HBM’s government, in the years 1849–1855. 5 vols. London.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Encloses signed document.

"Much interested about all domestic animals of all savage nations."

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Galton
Sent from
Source of text
UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/3/2/1/27)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2121,” accessed on 21 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6