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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Gerard Krefft   6 September 1873

Australian Museum Sydney

Septbr 6/ 1873

Dear Mr Darwin

I thank you for your last letter and also for the Origin of Species which has been duly received.1 I am proud of your good opinion and shall try and bring up my little boy as I would have liked to have been brought up myself2   I spent ten years of my life in the dreary work of a merchants office in a little German country town3   I was 8 years a Gold digger in this colony & in Victoria and when above 30 I first began to study natural History   I never had a teacher since I left school at 14 years & I regret to say that I do not know latin or greek except just suffici〈en〉t to look up a word in the lexicon.

I consider it my duty to tell you all this because there are many errors in my writings & the mode of expressing myself may not be always a happy one   I shall try and deserve your good opinion in future and will not trouble you any more   I do not know much about plants but a hint from you is sufficient, if you desire observations of any kind; besides I know many Gardeners and am ready to serve you whenever you ask me to do so.—

May you be able to accomplish your task and enlighten the ignorant, I shall always remain | my dear Mr Darwin | your most devoted | Gerard Krefft

Ch Darwin Esq | FRS. &c


This letter has not been found. CD had promised to send Krefft a copy of Origin 6th ed. (see letter to Gerard Krefft, 17 February 1873).
Krefft refers to his son Rudolf.
Krefft had worked for a mercantile firm in Halberstadt (Aust. dict. biog.)


Aust. dict. biog.: Australian dictionary of biography. Edited by Douglas Pike et al. 14 vols. [Melbourne]: Melbourne University Press. London and New York: Cambridge University Press. 1966–96.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Proud of CD’s good opinion of him. He worked in a merchant’s office in Germany for many years. Emigrated to Australia as a gold-digger and took up natural history after he was 30.

Letter details

Letter no.
Johann Louis Gerard (Gerard) Krefft
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Australian Museum, Sydney
Source of text
DAR 169: 120
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9044,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

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