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From [J. M. Herbert]   [early May 1831]

Summary

Asks CD to accept a Coddington microscope, which accompanies his anonymous note.

Compliments CD on talent and sincerity.

Author:  John Maurice Herbert
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [early May 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-99

To Susan Darwin   [6 September 1831]

Summary

Orders clothing, books, and other supplies for the voyage, to be sent to him in London.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  [6 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-119

To W. D. Fox   6 [September 1831]

Summary

Received offer of post as naturalist in the Beagle in the same mail as WDF’s last letter. Outlines details of prospective voyage. Not certain, but thinks he probably will go.

Expresses pleasure that all is well with their friendship, which he prizes.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  6 [Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 43)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-120

To Susan Darwin   [9 September 1831]

Summary

Discusses help he is receiving in his preparations for the voyage from William Yarrell and others. He has ordered a case of pistols, a rifle, and a good telescope with compass. It is settled that he will go.

Describes the coronation of William IV.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  [9 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-122

To J. S. Henslow   9 [September 1831]

Summary

All is settled – nothing can now alter CD’s determination. Details of plan and arrangements. Beaufort believes CD’s collections should be presented to some public body. CD thinks a large central collection best for natural history. Is busy getting advice and information from Yarrell and Capt. P. P. King for the voyage.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  9 [Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 5 DAR/1/1/5)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-123

From John Coldstream   13 September 1831

Summary

Suggestions and information helpful to CD in preparation for Beagle voyage. David Brewster’s meteorological papers. Suggests an oyster-trawl for collecting marine animals. Recommends CD see R. E. Grant. For meteorological observations suggests F. W. Beechey’s Voyage to the Pacific [1831] and an interview with J. F. Daniell of King’s College.

Author:  John Coldstream
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Sept 1831
Classmark:  DAR 204: 64
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-124

From Charles Whitley   13 September 1831

Summary

Congratulates CD on Beagle appointment as an "opportunity … of studying all the natural sciences at once, after your own taste".

Author:  Charles Thomas Whitley
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Sept 1831
Classmark:  DAR 204: 69
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-125

To Susan Darwin   [14 September 1831]

Summary

Pleasant three-day voyage to Plymouth has increased CD’s admiration for FitzRoy. Describes the Beagle as an excellent vessel, but the want of room is very bad. He likes the officers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  [14 Sept 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-126

To Susan Darwin   17 [September 1831]

Summary

Plans to come to Shrewsbury.

Is pleased with cabin assignment on Beagle. Beagle will map the east side of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia and set longitude of many places.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  17 [Sept 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-127

To J. S. Henslow   17 [September 1831]

Summary

Plans to come to Cambridge to discuss Beagle voyage. Only difficulty is disposal of his collections. South Sea Islands now more probable.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  17 [Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 6 DAR/1/1/6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-128

From Robert FitzRoy   23 September 1831

Summary

Regrets he cannot take Francis Owen on Beagle as midshipman. RF thinks CD had better be on the books [for victuals], but CD should do as he likes. Refitting progress is slow.

Author:  Robert FitzRoy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Sept 1831
Classmark:  DAR 204: 105
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-135

To Charles Whitley   23 [September 1831]

Summary

Thanks CTW for his letter [125]. "I do not think I ever received a more kind letter than yours or one that gave me so much pleasure.— You ought to have in your mind, the prospect of leaving England for 3 or 4 years before you can understand how to enjoy such a letter from such a person as yourself—". Regarding the voyage, "all is finally settled, & I have sealed away about half a chance of life.— If one lived merely to see how long one could spin out life,—I should repent my choice.— As it is I do not.—"

Thanks CTW for four fungi which have arrived.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Thomas Whitley
Date:  23 [Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Linnean Society of London (Quentin Keynes collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-135A

To J. S. Henslow   28 [September 1831]

Summary

Has collected [Phalli] in Shropshire and compared them with Barmouth species. Is convinced they are different.

Asks JSH for introductions to R. T. Lowe and Andrew Smith.

Has been given another week’s respite by FitzRoy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  28 [Sept 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 7 DAR/1/1/7)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-138

To Robert FitzRoy   [4 or 11 October 1831]

Summary

CD’s luggage is frightfully bulky, though he has been as economical as possible. Has made financial arrangements for his expenses.

Plans to study mathematics during voyage.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert FitzRoy
Date:  [4 or 11] Oct 1831
Classmark:  Copy
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-139

To J. S. Henslow   [4 or 11 October 1831]

Summary

Asks JSH to take charge of his consignments of specimens from the voyage.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [4 or 11] Oct 1831
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 8 DAR/1/1/8)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-140

To Robert FitzRoy   [10 October 1831]

Summary

Has just heard Beagle sailing is delayed so he will remain another week in London. Asks whether RF has a good set of mountain barometers, which geologists tell him are important.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert FitzRoy
Date:  [10 Oct 1831]
Classmark:  Copy
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-142

From J. S. Henslow   25 October 1831

Summary

Gives CD directions for sending him specimens from Beagle.

Writes of Cambridge politics.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Oct 1831
Classmark:  DAR 204: 108
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-143

To J. S. Henslow   30 [October 1831]

Summary

Hopes to be able to help Cambridge Philosophical Society with his collections, but thinks most will have to go to British Museum.

Describes Beagle quarters, the surgeon [Robert McCormick, M.D.], and officers.

Asks JSH’s advice on studying mathematics.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  30 [Oct 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 9 DAR/1/1/9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-144

To J. S. Henslow    15 [November 1831]

Summary

Sailing date fixed for end of month. Beagle is beautiful. Details of instructions and route. Hopes voyage will not exceed four years. Quarters very confined. Considers Jenyns did wisely in not coming. If CD were longer out of college and some years older he never could have endured it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  15 [Nov 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 10 DAR/1/1/10)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-147

To Charles Whitley    15 November [1831]

Summary

Regrets that it will be impossible to visit Cambridge for some years. Reminisces about CW’s "classical Sunday evenings", the Glutton Club, and his friends.

"We spend about 2 years in S. America, the rest of time larking round the world."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Thomas Whitley
Date:  15 Nov [1831]
Classmark:  T. H. W. Bower (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-148
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