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Letter of recommendation for Syms Covington   29 May 1839


A letter of reference for Syms Covington.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  29 May 1839
Classmark:  Mitchell Library, Sydney (MLMSS 2009/108: 6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-514

To ?   [1839–82]


Is glad addressee’s lectures are going well.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  1839–82
Classmark:  Raptis Rare Books (dealers) (June 2018 #69022)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13925F

To A. Y. Spearman   14 October 1839


Presents the Smith, Elder & Co. account for the fourth number now published of the second part of the Zoology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  14 Oct 1839
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-538A

To W. D. Fox   24 October [1839]


Hopes to publish volume on coral formations in a few months.

He and Emma live quietly, having given up parties.

Asks WDF if he remembers the Darwin family motto. He means to have a "seal solemnly engraved".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  24 Oct [1839]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 58)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-541

To J. S. Henslow   [10 November 1839]


Urges JSH to describe Galapagos species in a paper on the flora of the islands.

Has been interested in geographical distribution and would be interested to have a paper by JSH on the general character of flora of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia.

"I keep on steadily collecting every sort of fact which may throw light on the origin & variation of species."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [10 Nov 1839]
Classmark:  The Morgan Library and Museum, New York (Heineman Collection MA 7127)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-543

To Alexander von Humboldt   1 November 1839


Gratified by AvH’s letter.

Sends data on temperature of the sea in the Galapagos, South Pacific, and the Abrolhos Islands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander (Alexander) von Humboldt
Date:  1 Nov 1839
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Nachl. Alexander von Humboldt, gr. Kasten 4, Nr. 22, Bl. 1–2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-545

To William Hallowes Miller   22 [November 1839]


Asks if WHM would be interested in the meteorological observations of the Falkland Islands made by B. J. Sulivan on a recent survey. Such observations are rare and appear to CD to have many points of interest.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Hallowes Miller
Date:  22 [Nov 1839]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-546

To A. Y. Spearman   27 November 1839


Encloses the Smith, Elder & Co. account for the fourth number now published of the third part of the Zoology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  27 Nov 1839
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-546A

To Thomas Campbell Eyton   [30 November 1839]


Sends bird specimens for examination by TCE [for Birds].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  [30 Nov 1839]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.17)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-547

To Edwin C. Prince   21 January [1839]


Asks what generic and subgeneric name John Gould has given to the goatsuckers of the U. S. [for Birds].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edwin C. Prince
Date:  21 Jan [1839]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-491

To A. Y. Spearman   4 February 1839


Submits the account of Smith, Elder & Co. for the third number of part two and second number of part three of the Zoology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  4 Feb 1839
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-494A

To William Whewell   16 February [1839]


Asks WW to alter, before printing, the passages in WW’s Presidential Address to the Geological Society [Proc. Geol. Soc. Lond. 3 (1839): 93] which pointedly allude to the delay in publication of CD’s Beagle journal; they might annoy FitzRoy, who, as Captain, has a right to first use of the papers of all officers on board.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Whewell
Date:  16 Feb [1839]
Classmark:  Trinity College, Cambridge (Add c 88: 4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-496

To William Lonsdale   [8 March 1839]


Has finished earthquake paper ["Volcanic phenomena in South America" (1840), Collected papers 1: 53–86]. Gives instructions about a woodcut. There should be an outline map.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Lonsdale
Date:  [8 Mar 1839]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-497

To the Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society   [19 March 1839]


Formal request for F. Lutké’s charts of the Caroline Islands and any charts by Beechey of the Lagoon Islands [Ellice Islands] that the Society might possess.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Librarian, Royal Geographical Society
Date:  [19 Mar 1839]
Classmark:  Royal Geographical Society
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-499

Questions for William Herbert   [c. 1 April 1839]



Questions on breeding of plants: variation in established versus new varieties; predominance of wild species and old varieties when crossed with newer forms; predominance of males versus females; correlations between ease of hybridisation and tendency to vary and undergo cultivation; reversion; correlations between hybridisation and geographic distribution.

In WH’s Amaryllidaceae [1837], does he intend to say crossing is inimical to fertility?

[Sent via J. S. Henslow; note to amanuensis Syms Covington.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Herbert, dean of Manchester
Date:  [c. 1 Apr 1839]
Classmark:  DAR 185: 62
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-502

To William Whewell   16 April [1839]


Thanks WW for wedding gift.

Expresses admiration for his History of the inductive sciences [1837].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Whewell
Date:  16 Apr [1839]
Classmark:  Trinity College, Cambridge (Add c 88: 6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-506

To the Secretary of the Geological Society of France   25 April 1839


Acknowledges, on behalf of the Geological Society, receipt of the Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, vol. 9, feuilles 29, 34.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Secretary, Soc. Géol. France
Date:  25 Apr 1839
Classmark:  Bibliothèque municipale de Versailles (Autographe Darwin)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-507

To G. R. Gray   [June–October 1839]


Asks for some Anthus skins to examine [for Birds]. Fears they may turn out to be all one species. Sends details from his notes on Falkland Island specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Gray
Date:  [June–Oct 1839]
Classmark:  The British Library (Egerton MS 2348: 235–6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-508

To the Secretary of the American Philosophical Society   23 May 1839


As Secretary of the Geological Society of London, CD formally expresses thanks for the American Philosophical Society’s Proceedings, vol. 1, no. 6.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Secretary, American Philosophical Society
Date:  23 May 1839
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.16)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-511

To Gideon Algernon Mantell   23 May 1839


Writes, as Secretary of the Geological Society, to thank GAM for his presents, a slab of anthracite with plant impressions (from Philadelphia) and some fossils from Cornwall.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gideon Algernon Mantell
Date:  23 May 1839
Classmark:  Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand (Mantell papers fMS-Papers-0083-465)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-511A
Document type
letter (56)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Darwin, Emma (1)
Wedgwood, Emma (1)
01 (15)
02 (4)
03 (4)
04 (3)
05 (7)
06 (4)
07 (2)
08 (2)
10 (9)
11 (6)
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