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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edwin C. Prince1   21 January [1839]2

Dear Sir

Will you have the kindness to inform me what generic or sub-generic name, Mr Gould has given to the Goat-Suckers of the United States.—3

Mr Gould has left a blank for this name to be put in, in one of his M.S. pages.—

Will you send me an answer by the Bearer, or a line by the 2d post.—

I was very glad to see by the Newspapers that Mr Gould had arrived safely at Hobart Town.—

Yours truly | Chas. Darwin 12 Upper Gower Stt.—

Jan 21st.—


John Gould’s assistant (Gould 1848, 1: x).
Dated from the reference to John Gould’s arrival in Hobart, Tasmania. He left for Australia in the spring of 1838.
No name is given in Birds. At the end of the section on goatsuckers (Caprimulgus bifasciatus, p. 37), CD quotes John Gould as saying, ‘I am quite undecided to which of the sub-genera this and the following species should belong, I leave them for the present in the restricted genus, Caprimulgus, although I certainly perceive in it many points of affinity to the group which inhabits the United States of North America.’


Asks what generic and subgeneric name John Gould has given to the goatsuckers of the U. S. [for Birds].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edwin C. Prince
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 491,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2