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Darwin Correspondence Project

From A. A. L. P. Cochrane   7 June 1873

Junior United Service Club, | London, S.W.

June 7th. ’73.


Dear Mr Darwin—

You will doubtless be surprised to receive this note from one who is a stranger to you—

My admiration for your works must be my excuse for making the following proposal— I am just appd. Commander in Chief on the Pacific Station and leave on July 2nd. by Packet for Panama and Vancouver Island. The ship in which I shall hoist my Flag is the Repulse a large Iron Clad,— I am accompanied by my Flag Captain Lieutt. & Secretary—1 What I would propose to you is in case you should desire to visit Vancouvers Island with possible facilities for visiting Queen Charlottes Isd.2 the coast of California central America Guaquil, Galapagos Panama Peru & Chile to give you one of my Cabins and a free seat at my Table for such months as you shall honor me with your Company—you would see much of the Western coast of America &c &c   It is needless to recapitulate to so experienced a voyager and navigator as yourself the charms of such a voyage and I would do what I could to make it pleasant to you3

I take out a Photographic apparatus and other small matters for my own amusement and have for many years taken the greatest interest in all matters relating to soundings and temperature in the Sea

During such a voyage you would add many more laurels to those you have so greatly won and place the scientific world under yet more mighty obligations

Believe me to be | Truly Yours. | Arthur A. Cochrane | Rear Admiral

Such hospitality as I could render would take place on my joining ‘Repulse’ at Vancouver Isd. and I should probably mention the circumstance of my having invited you at the Admiralty—on your acceptance


The flag-lieutenant on the Repulse was Harry T. Grenfell; the secretary was Benjamin Urwick; the captain and commander was Frederick S. Vander-Meulen (Navy list, July 1873, p. 171).
The Queen Charlotte Islands are now known as Haida Gwaii, an archipelago on the north coast of British Columbia.
CD had voyaged on the Beagle as the scientific companion of captain Robert FitzRoy (see Journal of researches, p. vii, and Correspondence vol. 1).


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

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Navy list: The navy list. London: John Murray; Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. 1815–1900.


Invites CD on a voyage to the western coast of North and South America.

Letter details

Letter no.
Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Junior United Service Club
Source of text
DAR 161: 191
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8938,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

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