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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. A. J. Brooke   30 April 1871

My dear Sir

I am sending you a small apparatus for getting fire—used by the inhabitants of one river (Saribas) in the territory of Sarawak— I mentioned it in my work ‘Ten years in Sarawak’1   The mode of obtaining fire is, by loading the end of the striker with tinder (contained in the shell)—then strike it home sharply with the handle of the striker in the palm of the right hand, & withdraw it immediately   I can give no explanation about its origin—& I have never seen it in use out of this one river   I have often obtained fire with the one I send, in fact there is no difficulty about it—if it is quite dry.

I see the publication of yr work which I am very desirous to see & have sent for it—2

Believe me | yrs sincerely | C Brooke | Rajah—

Charles Darwin Esqr. &c &c

April 30th/71 | Sarawak


The Saribas river runs through Sarawak, a region of Malaysia. Brooke describes his travels down the river in Brooke 1866, pp. 232–8.
Brooke probably refers to Descent.


Brooke, Charles Anthoni Johnson. 1866. Ten years in Saráwak. 2 vols. London: Tinsley Brothers.


Sends a small apparatus from Sarawak for getting fire.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
The British Library (Add MS 49677: 35)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7729F,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19