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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To Harriet Lubbock   [December 1848 – 1849]


Belittles the loss of a book borrowed from CD.

Acknowledges cheque in payment for purchase of microscope for John Lubbock.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Harriet Lubbock
Date:  [Dec 1848–9]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.70)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1041

To James Scott Bowerbank   [January–August 1848]


Thanks him for Balanus specimens. Comments on his findings. A large Acasta in the wet state would be valuable. Asks JSB to mention his work to J. T. Quekett at the College of Surgeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Scott Bowerbank
Date:  [Jan–Aug 1848]
Classmark:  John Hay Library, Brown University (Albert E. Lownes Manuscript Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1045

To John Thomas Quekett   7 September [1848]


Asks about collection of mollusc specimens he had lent to Richard Owen.

Asks about seeing cirripede collection of the College.

Comments on larva of Scalpellum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Thomas Quekett; Royal College of Surgeons
Date:  7 Sept [1848]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.62)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1114

To John Innes   [1848?]


Suggests various remedies for toothache.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  [1848?]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1141

To Josiah Wedgwood III   [July 1848]


Writes about Emma’s trust account investments and calls due upon them. Sends his record and asks JW to bring it up to date.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Josiah Wedgwood, III
Date:  [July 1848]
Classmark:  V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 1019)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1142

To George Warde Norman   [1848]


Seeks excuse from jury duty on grounds of ill health.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Warde Norman
Date:  [1848]
Classmark:  DAR 147: 189
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1143

From Susan Elizabeth Darwin   [1848?]



[Valediction only.] CD note on verso: Athenaeum/48/p. 839 "E. Forbes on genera being continuous in time––good––fact".

Author:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [1848?]
Classmark:  DAR 205.10: 96
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1145

To James Smith   28 January [1848]


CD asks if he may have the use of the cirripedes JS collected in Portugal. He will need to break up or make a section of at least one of each species.

Expresses admiration for JS’s paper on Malta ["On recent depressions in the land", Q. J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 3 (1847): 234–40], with its striking demonstration of the change of level between land and water there discovered.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Smith
Date:  28 Jan [1848]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1148

To William Crawford Williamson   31 January [1848]


Thanks WCW for his article ["Microscopical objects found in mud of Levant", Mem. Lit. & Philos. Soc. Manchester 2d ser. 8 (1848):1–128]. Comments on it; offers to send Ascension Island specimens. Urges WCW to re-examine coal-beds for Infusoria to determine whether intervening beds were deposited by sea-, brackish, or fresh water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Crawford Williamson
Date:  31 Jan [1848]
Classmark:  Kobunso (Mr Sorimachi, bookseller, Tokyo)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1149

To Richard Owen   [4 February 1848]


Has been invited to contribute geological instructions [to J. F. W. Herschel, ed., Manual of scientific enquiry (1849); Collected papers 1: 227–50]. Asks RO whether remarks on coral reefs appertain to geology rather than zoology.

Looks forward to visit by Owens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  [4 Feb 1848]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1150

To John Frederick William Herschel   4 February 1848


Undertakes to write geological part of Admiralty Instructions [A manual of scientific enquiry (1849), Collected papers 1: 227–50]. Has doubts as to his success.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Frederick William Herschel, 1st baronet
Date:  4 Feb 1848
Classmark:  The Royal Society (HS6: 11)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1151

To Andrew Crombie Ramsay   4 February [1848]


Invites him to dinner on Saturday the 12th. Charles and Mrs Lyell, Edward Forbes, Richard Owen, and Thomas Bell coming also.

"Will you bring your map of S. America … and we will have a talk over it."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Date:  4 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1152

To J. E. Gray   5 [or 6] February 1848


Thanks the Trustees of the British Museum for entrusting to him the collection of Cirripedia and allowing him to disarticulate one specimen of each species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  [5 or 6] Feb 1848
Classmark:  British Museum (Central Archive ‘Original Papers’, vol. XXXIX)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1153

To James Smith   6 February [1848]


Thanks for present of fossil Balani.

Thanks also for JS’s request to David Landsborough to send barnacle specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Smith
Date:  6 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Glasgow City Archives (396/TD1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1153F

To George Robert Waterhouse   [6 February 1848]


Invites GRW to a dinner party with other scientists.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Waterhouse
Date:  [6 Feb 1848]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.69)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1154

To J. E. Gray   [5 or 6 February 1848]


Discusses loan of cirripede specimens from the British Museum and problems of classification. Encloses a note of thanks to be laid before the Trustees [see 1153].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  [5 or 6] Feb 1848
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.72)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1155

To W. C. Williamson   12 February [1848]


CD cannot find the lagoon-island mud that WCW asked about, but he sends other geological specimens he hopes will be interesting.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Crawford Williamson
Date:  12 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1156

To John Phillips   14 February [1848]


Asks for the reference in which JP states that some erratic boulders came from a lower to a higher level. CD is writing a paper ["Transportal of erratic boulders", Collected papers 1: 218–26] in which he believes he has the true explanation. Would like as many instances, with details, as possible.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  14 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1157

From J. D. Hooker   20 February – 16 [March] 1848


Though correspondence has never ebbed so low, CD is constantly in his thoughts.

Observations on cheetahs used as domesticated hunting animals.

Finds geographical barriers sometimes separate species, but also finds species that remain separate where there are no barriers to migration.

Colour "individuates" isolated animal species.

Plains and alpine animal distribution show altitude not strictly analogous to latitude.

Impact of timber cutting on climate has led to extinction of crocodiles.

Will discuss coal formation in letter to Edward Forbes.

CD often asked whether isolated mountains in southern latitudes had closely allied representatives of Arctic and north temperate plants; JDH has found a representative barberry.

Making for Darjeeling via Calcutta.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Feb – 16 [Mar] 1848
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (India letters 1847–51: 52–4 JDH/1/10)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1158

To James Clark Ross    25 February [1848]


Thanks for sending cirripedes. Cannot make out the label, so can JCR tell him the bank and the depth. Hopes to keep the specimens for 6 or 8 weeks before returning them.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Clark Ross
Date:  25 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Scott Polar Research Institute (MS 1226/10)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1158A
Document type
letter (84)
01 (7)
02 (13)
03 (7)
04 (6)
05 (12)
06 (7)
07 (9)
08 (4)
09 (6)
10 (5)
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in keywords
26 Items
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Darwin in letters, 1847-1850: Microscopes and barnacles


Darwin's study of barnacles, begun in 1844, took him eight years to complete. The correspondence reveals how his interest in a species found during the Beagle voyage developed into an investigation of the comparative anatomy of other cirripedes and…

Matches: 8 hits

  • … on geology ( letter to J. F. W. Herschel, 4 February [1848] ). Letters between Darwin and Richard …
  • … on board ship ( see letter to Richard Owen, [26 March 1848] ). Darwin’s chapter plainly calls on …
  • … a notion which was roundly criticised by William Hopkins in 1848. Hopkins maintained that transport …
  • … ‘desideratum’ ( letter to J. L. R. Agassiz, 22 October 1848 ), was accepted by Darwin, and he …
  • … the group, turned over some notes he had made, and, early in 1848, obtained permission for Darwin to …
  • … & Species theory al Diabolo together During 1848, Darwin examined the genera  Ibla …
  • … is all gospel.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 May 1848 ). Once Darwin had decided to …
  • … this period, especially in 1847 and during the last half of 1848 and the beginning of 1849. When his …

Schools Gallery: Using Darwin’s letters in the classroom


English| History| Science  English Pupils in Cumbria lead the way Year 9 English pupils at Ulverston Victoria High School spent several weeks studying Darwin’s letters, including comparing sections from Darwin’s ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ to letters…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 1174 - Charles Darwin to Joseph Dalton Hooker, 10 May 1848

Darwin and the Church


The story of Charles Darwin’s involvement with the church is one that is told far too rarely. It shows another side of the man who is more often remembered for his personal struggles with faith, or for his role in large-scale controversies over the…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … suggesting a remedy for toothache (letter to J. B. Innes, [1848] ). Darwin then wrote to discuss …
  • … Clothing Fund (a local charity), which he administered from 1848 to 1869 (letter to J. B. Innes, …

Scientific Practice


Specialism|Experiment|Microscopes|Collecting|Theory Letter writing is often seen as a part of scientific communication, rather than as integral to knowledge making. This section shows how correspondence could help to shape the practice of science, from…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Letter 1166 — Darwin, C. R. to Owen, Richard, [26 Mar 1848] Darwin describes in detail to …
  • … Letter 1167 — Darwin, C. R. to Henslow, J. S., [1 Apr 1848] Darwin ends by suggesting that if …
  • … Letter 1174 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 10 May 1848 Darwin discusses his barnacle work. …
  • … Letter 1202 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 6 Oct [1848] Darwin writes to Hooker about his …

Darwin’s reading notebooks


In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119…

Matches: 25 hits

  • … 1842]. Life of D. of Marlborough [A. Alison 1848]— (read) Montagus Translat of Visa …
  • … 1834] (& of Europe?) [Gould 1832–7] & of Australia [Gould 1848]; well worth studying for …
  • … [Dandolo 1825] /good/ M rs  Whitby [Whitby 1848] In Library of Entomological Society & …
  • … [E. Phipps 1850] L d . Harveys Memoirs [Hervey 1848] Cuming Lion Hunter [Cumming …
  • … 1818] (Brougham) Ermans Travels in Siberia [Erman 1848] (Boot) 44  (read) Bethunes …
  • … Horace Walpoles letter to C t . of Ossory [Walpole 1848] Lamb’s Letters [Lamb 1837] (read) …
  • … [Godwin 1835] Brookes last Journal by Mundy [Mundy 1848] Goldsmiths life by Forster …
  • … Charing Cross—sells Johnstons Maps [A. K. Johnston 1848] separately—Forbes is going to publish one. …
  • … Emotions by G. Ramsay B.M. 6. 6. Black Edin. Longman [Ramsay 1848] St. John’s Nat. Hist. of …
  • … 1839] Catherine 48 Life of Collins R.A. [Collins 1848] Phases of Faith [Newman 1850 …
  • … Christian K.. Soc [Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 1848] 81 March 30 th . Life …
  • … Brown 1824, 1814, 1818]. [DAR 119: 21a] 1848 . Jan 1. Reports & …
  • … 25. Bunbury Journal of Residence at C. of Good Hope [Bunbury 1848] March. 5. Memoires de la …
  • … 12. Arthur Adams. Notes from Journal of Nat. Hist. [Belcher 1848] May Kosmos [?A. von …
  • … 7 th  Supplements to Müllers Physiology [Baly and Kirkes 1848] 17 th  Thompson’s Birds of …
  • … Oct 5. Gould Introduct. to Birds of Australia [Gould 1848] —— 20 Billing’s Voyage to N. Sea …
  • … ] up to Tom IX inclusive [DAR 119: 21b] 1848 Jan 25. W. Tone …
  • … July 20. Sterlings Memoir of by Hare [Sterling 1848]— moderately good Campbells Chancellors …
  • … Eyre [Brontë] 1847]— Kelly’s & O’Kellys [Trollope 1848]— M r  Warrenne [E. Wallace 1848
  • … Autobiography of a Working Man. A Somerville [A. Somerville 1848] (excellent) 28. M. …
  • … & Gould Principles of Zoology Vol I. [Agassiz and Gould 1848] 30. Hom. de Hells Travels …
  • … 5 th . Miss Martineau. Eastern Travels [H. Martineau 1848], curious & interesting …
  • … (poor) —— Sir Fowle’s Buxton’s life [Buxton 1848]— (very good) 3 d  Sleeman’s …
  • … 1845b]. G. Gurney [Hook] 1836]. Harold [Bulwer-Lytton] 1848] Consuelo [Sand 1847]. Wandering …
  • … —— May. Haygarth Bush Life in Australia [Haygarth 1848] —— Diary of an Invalid [Matthews 1820 …

Darwin's health


On 28 March 1849, ten years before Origin was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, where Dr James Manby Gully ran a fashionable water-cure establishment. Darwin apologised for his delayed reply to…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … ill health, which increased in severity in the years around 1848, 1852, 1859, and 1863. In a letter …
  • … entries and correspondence during periods of sickness in 1848, 1852, and 1859 (see Colp 1977, pp. 38 …
  • … Correspondence vol. 4, letter to Emma Darwin, [27-8 May 1848] . See also Browne 1995, pp. 428-9 …

Scientific Networks


Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … sends a list of plants from Gray’s Manual of botany [1848] and asks him to append the ranges of …
  • … Letter 1202 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 6 Oct [1848] Darwin catches up on personal …
  • … Letter 1189 — Darwin, C. R. to Henslow, J. S., 2 July [1848] Darwin criticises the lecturing …
  • … Letter 1176 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, Emma, [20–1 May 1848] Darwin writes to his wife Emma. …

Darwin’s study of the Cirripedia


Darwin’s work on barnacles, conducted between 1846 and 1854, has long posed problems for historians. Coming between his transmutation notebooks and the Origin of species, it has frequently been interpreted as a digression from Darwin’s species work. Yet…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … addressed how it related to his species theory. On 10 May 1848 , Darwin wrote:    I …
  • … well; he reported in a letter to Richard Owen, 26 March 1848 , that he strongly recommended it to …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album


Here is a list of people that appeared in the photograph album Darwin received for his birthday on 12 February 1877 from scientific admirers in the Netherlands. Many thanks to Hester Loeff for identifying and researching them. No. …

Matches: 5 hits

  • … 29 Hengeloo 28 december 1848 Amsterdam 27 july 1913 Den Haag …
  • … Apothecary   Leeuwarden 21 may 1848 Leeuwarden     …
  • … for ladies and Gymnasium.   Arnhem 1848 Spanbroek 22 …
  • … School.   Almelo 18 november 1848 Leeuwarden 13 April 1917 …
  • … Physician   Deventer 5 april 1848 Haren 1 july 1919 …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album


List of people appearing in the photograph album Darwin received from scientific admirers in the Netherlands for his birthday on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Hester Loeff for providing this list and for permission to make her research available.…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … 29 Hengeloo 28 December 1848 Amsterdam 27 July 1913 Den Haag …
  • … Apothecary   Leeuwarden 21 May 1848 Leeuwarden     …
  • … for ladies and Gymnasium.   Arnhem 1848 Spanbroek 22 …
  • … School.   Almelo 18 November 1848 Leeuwarden 13 April 1917 …
  • … Physician   Deventer 5 April 1848 Haren 1 July 1919 …

Living and fossil cirripedia


Darwin published four volumes on barnacles, the crustacean sub-class Cirripedia, between 1851 and 1854, two on living species and two on fossil species. Written for a specialist audience, they are among the most challenging and least read of Darwin’s works…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … this would be ‘ all I could wish ’. In February 1848, Darwin received ‘ the good tidings of the …
  • … Ray Society (minutes of council meeting, 4 February 1848), founded to publish by subscription highly …
  • … proposed barnacle work was accepted on 18 February 1848. ‘An instinct for truth’ …

Francis Darwin born


Son, Francis Darwin, born

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Son, Francis Darwin, born …

Alfred Russel Wallace


Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography and evolutionary theory to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and attended a grammar school in Hertford. At the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Henry Walter Bates, and the two men travelled to Brazil in 1848 to pursue natural history. Despite …

Father dies


Darwin's father, Robert Waring Darwin. dies in Shrewsbury

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Darwin's father, Robert Waring Darwin. dies in Shrewsbury …

Jane Gray


Jane Loring Gray, the daughter of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she took an active interest in the scientific pursuits of her husband and his friends. Although she is only known to have…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she …

Hermann Müller


Hermann (Heinrich Ludwig Hermann) Müller, was born in Mühlberg near Erfurt in 1829. He was the younger brother of Fritz Müller (1822–97). Following the completion of his secondary education at Erfurt in 1848, he studied natural sciences at Halle and Berlin…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … the completion of his secondary education at Erfurt in 1848, he studied natural sciences at Halle …

Dramatisation script


Re: Design – Adaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and others… by Craig Baxter – as performed 25 March 2007

Matches: 1 hits


Asa Gray


Darwin’s longest running and most significant exchange of correspondence dealing with the subjects of design in nature and religious belief was with the Harvard botanist Asa Gray.  Gray was one of Darwin’s leading supporters in America. He was also a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1848 he married Jane Loring. They had no …

Darwin’s observations on his children


Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … 1845; Elizabeth, born 8 July 1847; Francis, born 16 August 1848; Leonard, born 15 January 1850; and …
  • … Darwin, born 1850. [62] Francis Darwin, born 1848. [63] Sarah was presumably a servant …

Bartholomew James Sulivan


On Christmas Day 1866, Bartholomew Sulivan sat down to write a typically long and chatty letter to his old friend, Charles Darwin, commiserating on shared ill-health, glorying in the achievements of their children, offering to collect plant specimens, and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … depositing many with the Royal College of Surgeons.  In 1848 he took leave of absence from the navy …
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