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Darwin Correspondence Project

From A. Haines1   19 September 1874

State of Ohio Preble County | Eaton

September 19th. 1874.

Charles Darwin M.A. R.S. ect | London England.

Dear Sir.

Having read your “Descent of Man”, with great interest, and other kindred works; I feel inclined to drop you this complimentary note as a token of my regards for you as the pioneer thinker and author upon the subject, which you have so ably and learnedly discussed. The line of thought adopted by you, from the many proofs which you adduce, certainly lies in the direction of truth. You are therefore much admired in America, both as an original thinker and as an author upon the subject which you discuss; and your views upon the Origin and descent of Species are rapidly gaining ground and coming to the front.

In this connexion, it may not be out of place, to inform you, that it is credibly reported to me, that in the Southern parts of the State of Kentucky, there is a species of Swine without any cleft in the hoof.2 I do not know this to be true, of my own personal knowledge, but am so informed by an engineer, in whose veracity I have confidence.

Development discussed in the Vestiges of Creation,3 as by the law of natural selection—reduced by you to a science in the descent of Man, and thus explained by you, it is silently, but surely proseliting America. This view of creation would be adopted at once, if it were not for the superstitious ideas still clustering around Genesis. But as it is with us, I assure you, the origin and descent of species, as you explain it, is rapidly gaining ground, even here in Ohio, and will soon come to the front, with all thoughtful scholars, as the only rational and scientific solution of this mysterious question of creation.

My object in writing you is two fold; the one to advise you of the interest taken in Ohio in your scientific researches; and the other is to obtain a letter from you, so I may, at least have your genuine autograph.

Yours very truly | A. Haines Senr.


Haines has not been identified.
On the absence of cleft, or syndactyly, in pigs, see Madgwick et al. 2013.
Vestiges of the natural history of creation ([Chambers] 1844).


[Chambers, Robert.] 1844. Vestiges of the natural history of creation. London: John Churchill.


States his admiration for CD’s views and their progress in the U. S.

Letter details

Letter no.
Abner Haines
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Eaton, Ohio
Source of text
DAR 166: 84
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9646,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22