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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 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

From J. G. Malcolmson   30 November 1839


Sends specimens of coralline with vermiform holes.

J. Allan’s observations of Aldabra and the Cormoros [see Coral reefs, p. 186] and news of his experiments on the growth of coral.

Author:  John Grant Malcolmson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Nov 1839
Classmark:  DAR 39: 15–17
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-548

From J. G. Malcolmson   [after 7 October 1839]



Comments on the discussion of erratic blocks in Journal of researches [pp. 619, 621–2].

Author:  John Grant Malcolmson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 7 Oct 1839]
Classmark:  DAR 50: C24–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-559

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

From William Buckland   7 June 1839


Acknowledges receipt of Journal of researches.

Author:  William Buckland
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 June 1839
Classmark:  DAR 204: 176
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-518

From Richard Owen   11 June 1839


Thanks CD effusively [for Journal of researches] – "the most delightful book in my collection".

Author:  Richard Owen
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 June 1839
Classmark:  DAR 204: 183
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-519

From William Henry Fitton   13 June 1839


Thanks CD for Journal of researches. Praises its "want of pretension"; "the Geology seems … to be excellent – and a good part of it new".

Author:  William Henry Fitton
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 June 1839
Classmark:  DAR 204: 178
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-520

From William Lonsdale   15 June 1839


Acknowledges Journal of researches.

Author:  William Lonsdale
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 June 1839
Classmark:  DAR 204: 182
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-521

From Robert FitzRoy   20 June [1839]


Robert Brown has mistreated Capt. P. P. King by holding back for nine years the plants collected on King’s voyage of the Adventure and Beagle.

Author:  Robert FitzRoy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 June [1839]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 147
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-522

To William Herbert   26 June 1839



CD is led to believe there are no true permanently inbreeding, sexually reproducing beings. Thanks for replies to breeding questions.

Asks for clarification of Hippeastrum crosses: is selfing or crossing with individual of same species intended and was increased fertility due to constitution of foreign parent or due to the pollen coming from another plant? Has WH known any hybrid or mongrel to revert or to vary in a manner unlikely to be effect of soil?

Sends Journal of researches.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Herbert, dean of Manchester
Date:  26 June 1839
Classmark:  DAR 185: 65–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-523

From William Herbert   [c. 27 June 1839]



Rejects necessity of outbreeding and any general law of reversion.

Describes further experiments with Hippeastrum showing greater fertility with foreign pollen than with individual’s own pollen or with pollen from another individual of same species.

Does not believe CD’s questions about reversion can be answered in present state of knowledge.

Author:  William Herbert, dean of Manchester
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c.27 June 1839]
Classmark:  DAR 185: 67
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-524

To Thomas Green   [after 30 June 1839]


Returns proof sheets and requests revises. Gives his opinion of Mr Walkers’s work.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Green
Date:  [after 30 June 1839]
Classmark:  Bonhams, New York (dealers) (21 September 2015)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-524F

From William Andrew Fane De Salis   8 July 1839


A newly-elected Fellow sends a signed obligation and subscription to CD as Secretary of the Geological Society of London.

Author:  William Andrew Fane De Salis
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 July 1839
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/4/225)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-525
Document type
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