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To W. D. Fox   [11 May 1831]

Summary

CD’s father has given him £200 to settle his debts.

He is delighted by a magnificent anonymous gift of a microscope.

Sees a good deal of the Henslows who are expecting a child soon.

CD still talks of the "Canary scheme"; he is learning Spanish.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [11 May 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 40)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-100

To W. D. Fox   [9 July 1831]

Summary

Poverty keeps him at Shrewsbury.

The Canary scheme still goes, CD is studying Spanish and geology.

Jenyns has started CD on Diptera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [9 July 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 41)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-101

To J. S. Henslow   [11 July 1831]

Summary

Has been learning to use a clinometer.

Has investigated passage and fares for Canaries trip.

Rereading Humboldt.

Asks JSH to thank Jenyns for present of Diptera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [11 July 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 1 DAR/1/1/1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-102

To C. T. Whitley    [19 July 1831]

Summary

He is "mad about Geology" and plans to ride through Wales in August with a few days at Barmouth.

Some humorous gossip.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Thomas Whitley
Date:  [19 July 1831]
Classmark:  Shrewsbury School, Taylor Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-102A

To W. D. Fox   1 August [1831]

Summary

Will send his insects and two or three from Henslow.

The Canary scheme takes place next June.

Is grieved WDF thinks him capable of telling falsehoods.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  1 Aug [1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 42)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-103

From George Peacock to J. S. Henslow   [6 or 13 August 1831]

Summary

GP has been asked to recommend a naturalist to sail with Capt. Robert FitzRoy to Tierra del Fuego and the South Sea Islands. If Leonard Jenyns is not available, whom would JSH recommend?

P.S. Urges JHS not to lose this opportunity to have collections made for "our museum".

Author:  George Peacock
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [6 or 13] Aug 1831
Classmark:  DAR 97: B1–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-104

From J. S. Henslow   24 August 1831

Summary

JSH has been asked by Peacock to recommend a naturalist as companion to Capt. FitzRoy on Beagle voyage. CD the best qualified person; not a finished naturalist but amply qualified for collecting, observing, and noting.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Aug 1831
Classmark:  DAR 97(ser.2):4–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-105

From George Peacock   [c. 26 August 1831]

Summary

Details about FitzRoy and proposed voyage of Beagle. CD invited to go on the voyage as naturalist.

Author:  George Peacock
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 26 Aug 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 97 (ser.2): 11–13
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-106

To J. S. Henslow   30 [August 1831]

Summary

Feels he should decline Beagle voyage offer because of his father’s objections, which he lists. Would otherwise have taken all risks.

[Geological] trip with Adam Sedgwick a success.

Grieved at Marmaduke Ramsay’s death.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  30 [Aug 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 2 DAR/1/1/2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-107

From R. W. Darwin to Josiah Wedgwood II   30–1 August 1831

Summary

CD has had an offer to go on a voyage of discovery for two years. RWD objects strongly, but will let CD make his case and if JW agrees with CD, RWD will change his position. In a postscript RWD adds, "Charles has quite given up … the voyage."

Author:  Robert Waring Darwin
Addressee:  Josiah Wedgwood, II
Date:  30–1 Aug 1831
Classmark:  V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 96)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-108

From Josiah Wedgwood II to R. W. Darwin   31 August 1831

Summary

States his views on each of RWD’s objections to the Beagle venture. JW’s overall position is favourable to CD’s acceptance of the offer.

Author:  Josiah Wedgwood, II
Addressee:  Robert Waring Darwin
Date:  31 Aug 1831
Classmark:  DAR 97(ser.2): 6–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-109

To R. W. Darwin   31 August [1831]

Summary

CD asks his father to consider the offer of the Beagle voyage once more. He encloses his list of RWD’s objections and Josiah Wedgwood’s responses [see 109]. Asks his father to give him a decided answer: if "no" he will never again mention the subject.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Waring Darwin
Date:  31 Aug [1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223: 1; DAR 97: B10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-110

From R. W. Darwin to Josiah Wedgwood II   1 September 1831

Summary

RWD had made up his mind to give up his objection to the Beagle voyage if JW did not take the same view. If Charles continues to want to go after further inquiry, will give him every assistance.

Author:  Robert Waring Darwin
Addressee:  Josiah Wedgwood, II
Date:  1 Sept 1831
Classmark:  V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 96)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-111

To Francis Beaufort   1 September [1831]

Summary

CD accepts going with Capt. FitzRoy. Explains earlier refusal as owing to his father’s disapproval.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Beaufort
Date:  1 Sept [1831]
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (Adm 1/4541 PRO D 262)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-112

From Francis Beaufort to Robert FitzRoy   1 September [1831]

Summary

Believes he has found a "savant" for FitzRoy in CD, whom he describes as grandson of Erasmus Darwin and "full of zeal and enterprize".

Author:  Francis Beaufort
Addressee:  Robert FitzRoy
Date:  1 Sept [1831]
Classmark:  United Kingdom Hydrographic Office Archive (Letter Book no. 3, p. 233)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-113

To J. S. Henslow   [2 September 1831]

Summary

Has just arrived in Cambridge; his father has changed his mind. Asks to see JSH.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [2 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 3 DAR/1/1/3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-114

To Susan Darwin   [4 September 1831]

Summary

Spent preceding day with Henslow; much to be done. A friend, Alexander Charles Wood, has written to Capt. FitzRoy about CD. Peacock offered appointment as Beagle naturalist first to Leonard Jenyns, who almost accepted, as did Henslow himself. CD will talk to Capt. Francis Beaufort [Hydrographer] and FitzRoy. Thanks all his family.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  [4 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-115

From Adam Sedgwick   4 September 1831

Summary

Reports on his geological work in N. Wales since he and CD parted. Answers CD’s queries.

Author:  Adam Sedgwick
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Sept 1831
Classmark:  DAR 204: 65
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-116

To Susan Darwin   [5 September 1831]

Summary

Wood has heard from FitzRoy, who seemed so much against CD’s going that CD and Henslow gave up. CD is in London; has seen FitzRoy, who is now ready to invite him. CD remains undecided. He likes FitzRoy. Gives details of prospective arrangements. They probably will be gone three years; "round the world" is not certain. Want of room is a serious objection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  [5 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-117

To J. S. Henslow   [5 September 1831]

Summary

Has met FitzRoy, who has now offered him the post of naturalist on board the Beagle. Other details about the voyage arrangements – mess, CD’s status, route, books.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [5 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 4 DAR/1/1/4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-118
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