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Darwin Correspondence Project

To M. D. Conway   12 September [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept 12th

My dear Mr Conway

I must thank you for many things. Firstly for your letter, which has amused & interested me greatly.2 Secondly for the strange Debate, which I return in case you shd. wish to lend it to anyone else.3 And thirdly for the Tribune, which I have been glad to read & which I suppose you do not want returned. The principle of Evolution has first-rate supporters in Morse & Gill who are excellent naturalists. As for Prof. Swallows remarks they are worth very little.4

I have had a very bad week & am ordered by my Doctor to do very little;5 so I will do no more than thank you again

Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

I have heard of your intended book of the Scriptures of all times & nations, & I shd. think it wd. be extremely curious & valuable—6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from M. D. Conway, 10 September [1873]).
George Clinton Swallow had challenged CD’s views on the evolution of a moral sense in humans in a paper delivered at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see letter from M. D. Conway, 10 September [1873] and n. 4); in the discussion following Swallow’s presentation, Edward Sylvester Morse and Theodore Nicholas Gill had defended CD’s arguments (see New York Tribune, 23 August 1873, p. 2).
Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records that Henry Willey, CD’s physician, visited on 5 September 1873.
See letter from M. D. Conway, 10 September [1873] and n. 2. Conway’s book was published under the title Sacred anthology (Conway 1874).


Conway, Moncure Daniel. 1874. The sacred anthology: a book of ethnical scriptures. London: Trübner & Co.


Thanks for strange debate, which CD returns. Principle of evolution has first-rate supporters in [Edward Sylvester?] Morse and Theodore Nicholas Gill.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Moncure Daniel Conway
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9051,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

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