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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hague   3 April [1873]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent [16 Montague Street, London]

April 3rd

My dear Sir

I thank you for your very kind note and for the account of the ants.2 The case is quite new to me and very interesting. I hope much that I have not done wrong, but I have sent your clear account to “Nature”, our best scientific periodical, as I thought it would be a great pity for no one except myself to read it.3 Of course I do not know whether it will be inserted, as that will partly depend on how much matter is received; but I expect to see it printed. Anyhow I shall not forget the curious case. My sons often speak with great pleasure of the kindness which they received from you and others, and of their extreme enjoyment in seeing your wonderful country.4 The eldest of the two is now in France and is very much out of health.5

With my best thanks and cordial remembrance6 I remain | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hague, 26 February 1873.
See second letter to Nature, [before 3 April 1873]. CD discussed the ability of ants to recognise each other in Descent 1: 365.
George Howard Darwin and Francis Darwin had visited Hague while on their tour of the United States in 1871 (see Correspondence vol. 19).
Hague had met CD in London in February 1871 (Hague 1884, p. 759).


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

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Hague, James Duncan. 1884. A reminiscence of Mr. Darwin. Harper’s Monthly Magazine 69: 759–63.


Has sent JDH’s letter to Nature ["Perception in ants", Nature 7 (1873): 443–4].

Sons recall kindness received from JDH and others in America.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James Duncan Hague
Sent from
London, Montague St, 16 Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 144: 394
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8840,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21