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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Adolf Reuter   30 May 1869

Sans Souci near Potsdam

the 30. 5. | 1869.


You will be very astonished to receive a letter from a person, which has not the honour to be acquainted with you in any way, but I hope also you will excuse me, when I tell you the reason for what I took me liberty, to address this letter to you.—

Reading your very interesting and celebrated book on the species formation and animals and plants variation in the domestication,1 I thought that it would be perhaps agreeable to you, when I did send you also some similar examples, confirming your great Ideas:—

I am Gardener longer then 25 years, I was nearly 5 years in other’ countrys, at Liege in Mr. Jacob-Makoy’s nursery, at Gand in Mr. van Houtte’s;2 some time in France and longer then a year I was employed at Kew in the Royal Bot. Garden; I was always so happy to be working in the propagating houses.

Returned of my voyage, I have been employed 13 years in our Royal nursery for trees and shrubs &c. and in the same time I was obliged to give lessons our young gardeners, so that I did find very much occasion to study the nature of plants and collect experiences; now I am two years employed as Gardener of His Majesty the King.3

Sir, I know it very well that I am immodest to molest such a Gentleman as you with my simply knowledge, but because you are relating often in your celebrated books of English and french Gardening, so I thought it would be perhaps interesting for you to receive also some communication of German Gardening.

I should be glad indeed, when you would be so kind by giving me the permission to send you some examples of my small experience and so I hope to have the honour to receive some words like an answer.—

With my very best respects and assuring you of my attraction at all times | I am dear Sir | Your obedient servant | Ad. Reuter

Your honourable answer may be addressed so

Ad. Reuter | Gardener of His Majesty | SansSouci | near Potsdam (Prussia.)


Reuter refers to Variation.
Reuter refers to Lambert Jacob-Makoy and Louis Benoit Van Houtte. Gand is the French spelling of Ghent.
Wilhelm I, king of Prussia.


AR, gardener to the King of Prussia, has read Variation and wishes to send CD observations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Adolf Reuter
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Sans Souci, Potsdam
Source of text
DAR 176: 124
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6761,” accessed on 28 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17