skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Gustavus Detlef Hinrichs   [before 13 August 1868]1

Chemical Laboratory, | Iowa State University. | Iowa-C〈ity〉

Mr. Charles Darwin

My dear Sir

I sent you in Novbr 67 a french Resumé of my Atomechanics, a work wherein I prove that all elements are formed from one substance, Pantogen. I sent you to day another, Engl. Resumé, for fear that the former has not reached you or been mislaid.2

Some have already put your name together with mine, (Jahrb. Min, 68, II);3 and if my work has not yet made as much stir as yours, it is on the way of doing it; has been assailed as furiously as yours, and some tell me that it has already been preached against. At the same time I have the satisfaction of having the foremost crystallogs of Europe on my side; the younger generation will fight it out on this line.

If the above is sufficient to warrant me a slight share of your sympathy, please drop me a note; of course I do not want you to “pronounce” in “favor of” Pantogen, but merely have a friendly word from a man whom I honor, with whom I think I work in a similar direction.

Very truly yours | Gustavus Hinrichs

If you are present at the Norwich meeting, please see that the copies sent to Dalrymple & Hooker are distrib. in the Sections for Chem, Physics & Mineralogy.4


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to G. D. Hinrichs, 13 August 1868.
None of Hinrichs’s publications have been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL or the Darwin Library–Down. Hinrichs refers to his Programme der Atomechanik oder die Chemie eine Mechanik der Panatome: Programme d’une atomécanique ou la chimie une mécanique des panatomes (Hinrichs 1867). This was a lithographed manuscript privately published by Hinrichs. On Hinrichs’s atomic theory, and for reproductions of some of the pages of Hinrichs 1867, see Zapffe 1969. The resumés were presumably Resumé français du programme de l’atoméchanique (New York, 1867), and A programme of atomechanics (New York, 1867), items 16 and 17 in the bibliography of Hinrichs’s books and papers in Hinrichs 1874.
In the Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Palaeontologie (1868): 333 a review of Hinrichs’s Atomechanik compared Hinrichs to Johannes Kepler. No comparison to CD has been found in this journal.
The annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science took place in Norwich in August 1868. Joseph Dalton Hooker was the president, Donald Dalrymple one of the local secretaries.


Hinrichs, Gustavus Detlef. 1867. Programme der Atomechanik oder die Chemie eine Mechanik der Panatome: Programme d’une atomécanique ou la chimie une mécanique des panatomes. Iowa City: the author.

Hinrichs, Gustavus Detlef. 1874. The principles of chemistry and molecular mechanics. Davenport, Iowa: Day, Egbert, & Fidlar. New York: B. Westermann & Co.

Zapffe, C. A. 1969. Gustavus Hinrichs, precursor of Mendeleev. Isis 60 (1969): 461–76.


Sends work proving all elements formed of one substance: "Pantogen". Feels affinity with CD. His work will cause as great a stir. Has already been preached against. Asks CD for a note as a token of his sympathy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Gustavus Detlef Hinrichs
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Iowa State University
Source of text
DAR 166: 220
Physical description
1p damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6311,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16