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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Brettingham Sowerby Jr   31 [March 1846]1

Down Bromley Kent

Tuesday 31

Dear Sir

I write merely to thank you for your note with the desired information.— As soon as I can find out how many Cordillera shells require illustration, I will immediately decide upon the number of the Tertiary & make arrangements for you to commence.2

Yours faithfully | C. Darwin


The letter has a mourning border, presumably for Elizabeth (Bessy) Wedgwood, Emma’s mother, who died on 31 March 1846.
In the appendix of South America, Edward Forbes described eleven species of Secondary shells of the Cordillera and George Brettingham Sowerby described sixty species of the Tertiary formations of South America. Both sets are illustrated by G. B. Sowerby Jr.


South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.


Thanks for his note; as soon as CD knows how many Cordillera Tertiary fossil shells require illustration he will make arrangements for GBS jr to begin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Brettingham Sowerby, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 969,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3