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Darwin Correspondence Project

From S. O. Glenie   27 November 1868


27: Novr: 1868.

Dear Sir

Mrs. Glenie and I were much gratified by the receipt of your kind letter of 2: Sept: last, and still more so to learn that you had found our observations worthy of your attention—1 We shall not fail to give you, whenever we feel certain of the facts, any information we may obtain either in direct answer to your question or bearing upon the subjects to which they refer〈.〉

Our friend, Mr. Thwaites, tells me that he has sent you my observations, and the result of enquiries in many quarters, upon Elephants and the black-boned variety of fowl.2 I have a hen & cock isolated, and trust ere very long to answer your queries as to the first plumage of the chickens— There is no doubt, for both my wife and I have had them in our poultry yard and on our table, that the adult bird has in many instances the same plumage as the ordinary fowl, though the greatest number when full grown are white.— I shall for the future pay more attention to this curious variety, and let know what I may remark—3 The natives consider the flesh medicinal, and their doctors prescribe its flesh for internal pains & epileptic and hysteric fits, but their practice is founded on no principles being purely empirical.—

On any subject on which I may be of service let me beg of you to command me, and to be assured that I will always do my best to meet your wishes

Believe me | Yours Sincerely | S. O. Glenie


CD’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to G. H. K. Thwaites, 2 September 1868. Glenie had answered CD’s queries on expression (see letter from G. H. K. Thwaites, 22 July 1868 and enclosure; for the text of the queries, see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix V). Glennie refers to Mary Louisa Elizabeth Glennie.
For Glenie’s comments on elephants, see the letter from S. O. Glenie to G. H. K. Thwaites, [before 31 October 1868].
Glenie later sent information on the black-boned fowl he raised (Correspondence vol. 17, letter from S. O. Glenie, 20 March 1869).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


He and Mrs G pleased to receive CD’s letter indicating that he found their observations worthy of attention.

Hopes soon to be able to answer CD’s queries on first plumage of chickens of black-boned variety of fowl.

Letter details

Letter no.
Samuel Owen Glenie
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Trincomalee, Ceylon
Source of text
DAR 165: 54
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6482,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

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