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To J. D. Hooker   [12 September 1847]



David Milne’s attack on his Glen Roy paper ["On the parallel roads of Lochaber", (1847) Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 16 (1849): 395–418] made CD horribly sick.

Wants Thomas Thomson to establish geographical range of erratic boulders in India.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [12 Sept 1847]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 103
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1118

To Robert Chambers   11 September 1847


Comments on David Milne’s paper ["On the parallel roads of Lochaber" (1847), Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 16 (1849): 395–418]. CD still believes in marine origin. Rejects barrier of detritus at mouth of Glen Roy. If roads were formed by lake, it must have been ice-lake.

Comments on evidence of glaciers and icebergs in North Wales. Thinks pass caused by tidal channel, not river. Suggests that RC make altitude measurements at various points.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Chambers
Date:  11 Sept 1847
Classmark:  Smithsonian Libraries and Archives (Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology MSS 405 A. Gift of the Burndy Library)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1119

To David Milne   20 [September 1847]


Comments on paper by DM ["On the parallel roads of Lochaber", (1847) Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 16 (1849): 395–418]. "I am not in the least convinced about the Barriers … [but] I am very much staggered in favour of the ice-lake theory of Agassiz & [William] Buckland." Will "send a letter to the Scotsman, in which I give briefly my present impression".

Cites facts mentioned in South America possibly of use to DM.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  David Milne Home
Date:  20 [Sept 1847]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (MS.3813)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1120

To the Scotsman   [after 20 September 1847]


Comments on article by David Milne ["On the parallel roads of Lochaber" (1847), Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 16 (1849): 395–418]. Refers to his paper on Glen Roy [Collected papers 1: 87–137]. Comments on Louis Agassiz’s article ["The glacial theory and its recent progress", Edinburgh New Philos. J. 33 (1842): 217–83]. Cites his own observations on glaciers in N. Wales. Discusses possibility of ice barrier creating lake. Notes objections to theory of an ice barrier. Defends his own theory that the roads are sea-beaches. Suggests questions for further investigation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  The Scotsman
Date:  [after 20 Sept 1847]
Classmark:  DAR 50: B1–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1121

To J. F. Royle   1 September [1847]


Returns JFR’s copies of Transactions [Agric. & Hortic. Soc. India]. Has not found quite as much as he thought he might on varieties of Indian domestic animals and plants; "the attempts at introduction have been too recent for the effects, if any, of climate to have been developed". Is impressed by the work of the English in India.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Forbes Royle
Date:  1 Sept [1847]
Classmark:  Heritage Auctions (dealers) (11 April 2013)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1112

To Mary Anne Theresa Whitby   2 September [1847]


Questions Mrs W on difference in flight capacity of male and female silkworm moths and asks her for results of experiments he suggested she do with silkworms to determine hereditariness of dark "eyebrows". [See Variation 1: 302.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Mary Anne Theresa Whitby
Date:  2 Sept [1847]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.61)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1113

To Charles Lyell   8 [September 1847]


Discusses David Milne’s Glen Roy paper ["On the parallel roads of Lochaber", Trans. R. Soc. Edinburgh 16 (1849): 395–418]. Rejects Milne’s theory that outlet of Glen Roy is blocked by detritus. Impressed by Milne’s discovery of an outlet at the level of the second shelf. Believes this strengthens theory that lakes were formed by glacier blocking Glen Roy. Offers arguments against glacier theory.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  8 [Sept 1847]
Classmark:  DAR 50: C3–C6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1116

To John Higgins   10 September [1847]


Agrees to lease land to Mr Mason. Discusses arrangements for bank draft.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Higgins
Date:  10 Sept [1847]
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1117