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CD memorandum   [December 1855]

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Summary

Requests skins of domestic breeds or races of poultry, pigeons, rabbits, cats, and dogs from any unfrequented region. [Attached is a list of people to whom CD has written for pigeon and poultry skins.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  [Dec 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 206: 34–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1812

To ?   7 December [1855–7?]

Summary

Concerning specimens he wants collected in the Azores.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  7 Dec [1855-7]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 93 (photocopy)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13867A

To Thomas Campbell Eyton   25 October [1855]

Summary

Unable to give information on Mrs Shaw of Crayford.

Mentions TCE’s interest in dog- and pig-skeleton researches.

Interested in seeing the Eyton Museum.

Reminisces about entomology [at Cambridge].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  25 Oct [1855]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.114)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1769

To J. S. Henslow   29 October [1855]

Summary

Gives directions for sending seeds collected at Hitcham. The Lychnis and Myosotis have come up. Will begin their "torments" next spring [i.e., experiments to produce "sports"].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  29 Oct [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A101–A102
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1770

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 3 November 1855]

Summary

CD requests further details about a rain of shells on the Isle of Wight reported by a Gardeners’ Chronicle correspondent.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 3 Nov 1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 44, 3 November 1855, p. 726
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1771

To Charles Lyell   4 November [1855]

Summary

Comments on two pamphlets by John Bachman [probably Continuation of the review of "Nott and Gliddon’s types of mankind" (1855) and An examination of the characteristics of genera and species as applicable to the doctrine of the unity of the human race (1855)].

CD’s pigeon breeding and plant hybridization experiments.

Invites CL to visit.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  4 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.115)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1772

To J. D. Hooker   6 November [1855]

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Summary

Naudin’s theory, in J. Decaisne’s review of Flora Indica, of subspecies descended from a single stock only adds to the confusion. John Lindley and M. J. Berkeley cut down species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  6 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 153
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1773

To J. D. Hooker   8 [November 1855]

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Summary

Very impressed by Candolle’s book [Géographie botanique raisonnée (1855)]. Wants to recalculate his results.

CD’s pigeon fancy is getting on.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 [Nov 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 154
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1774

From H. C. Watson   8 November 1855

Summary

Artificiality of orders and genera in botany.

Difficulties in numerical analysis of close species in large and small genera.

HCW has "pretty strong bias towards the view that species are not immutably distinct".

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Nov 1855
Classmark:  DAR 181: 31
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1775

From Edward Blyth   [8 November 1855]

Summary

History of the rose in India.

Looks forward to reading what Hooker and Thompson say on species and varieties in their Flora Indica [1855].

Domestication of the turkey in America. The Peruvians had domestic dogs. W. W. Robinson of Assam reports that otters are extensively trained for fishing but cormorants never are. Gives Robinson’s comments on local domestic geese, rabbits, and cats.

EB has skins of jungle fowl from different localities to send.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [8 Nov 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A108–A109
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1776

To J. R. Crowe   9 November 1855

Summary

Thanks him for seeds used in immersion experiment.

Sends thanks to M. N. Blytt and says to tell him species names.

Mentions meeting Edward Sabine.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Rice Crowe
Date:  9 Nov 1855
Classmark:  Nasjonalbiblioteket (National Library of Norway), Oslo (Brevs. 66)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1777

To J. S. Henslow   10 November [1855]

Summary

Thanks for seeds. Feels "almost foiled" in his experiments on sea transport – has found few plants that float after more than a week’s immersion.

Sends a list of queries [see 1779] on hollyhocks to put to growers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  10 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A103–A105
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1778

To J. S. Henslow   12 November 1855

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Summary

Draft of queries on the varieties of hollyhocks. [To be transmitted to William Chater by JSH; probably enclosed with 1778.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  12 Nov 1855
Classmark:  DAR 206: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1779

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   13 November [1855]

Summary

Reports a case of charlock seeds that retained their vitality for at least eight or nine years. He suggests that their power of retaining vitality when buried in damp soil may be an element in preserving the species and therefore seeds may be specially endowed with this capacity, while the power of retaining vitality in dry, artificial conditions may be an indirect accidental quality of little or no use to the species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  13 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 46, 17 November 1855, p. 758
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1780

To J. D. Hooker   14 November [1855]

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Summary

Candolle discusses social plants. CD devises criterion for showing sociability not inherent.

Bentham’s buried seed plan rejected.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  14 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 155
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1781

To W. B. Tegetmeier   16 November [1855]

Summary

Is going to London on Thursday [22nd] and would like to call on WBT on Friday.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  16 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1782

To the Secretary, Royal Society    18 November [1855]

Summary

Reluctantly agrees to write a paper (the citation of award of the Royal Medal to J. O. Westwood [Abstracts and papers of RSL 1855]), but feels unfitted for the job.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Secretary, Royal Society
Date:  18 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 112
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1782A

Armand de Quatrefages   20 November [1855]

Summary

Thanks for gift of Souvenirs d’un naturaliste (Quatrefages 1854).

Can AdeQ ask M. J. P. Flourens about experiments which show that hybrid offspring of dogs, wolves and jackals are sterile between themselves in the third generation.

CD cannot obtain a copy of Dureau de la Malle’s work on breeds of horse: can AdeQ assist?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Jean Louis Armand (Armand de Quatrefages) Quatrefages de Bréau
Date:  20 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Manuscrits (Collection d’autographes formée de la correspondance reçue ou acquise par Étienne de Jouy, Jules Lacroix, Paul Lacroix MS-9623 (2035))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1782F

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   21 November [1855]

Summary

Sends final results of his experiments on the vitality of various kinds of seeds immersed in sea-water. Corrects a false assumption he made in an earlier letter [1684] that plants with ripe seeds would float for some weeks. Now finds that they sink within a month. Since all the seeds he tried sank in sea-water, his experiments are of little or no use "in regard to the distribution of plants by drifting of their seeds across the sea".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  21 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 47, 24 November 1855, p. 773
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1783

To T. C. Eyton   26 November [1855]

Summary

Asks TCE’s advice on preparation of birds’ skeletons.

His pigeon collection is growing; now has pairs of ten varieties.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  26 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections, University of Birmingham (EYT/1/41)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1784
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