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To G. R. Gray   [20 November – 11 December 1840]


Thanks GRG for his gift [A list of the genera of birds (1840)] and trusts that now GRG will be able to finish John Gould’s MS for Zoology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Gray
Date:  [20 Nov – 11 Dec 1840]
Classmark:  The British Library (Egerton MS 2348: 237–8)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-581

From J. S. Henslow   21 November 1840


Reports on abortive anthers in flowers of thyme sent by CD.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Nov 1840
Classmark:  DAR 109: A86
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-582

To A. Y. Spearman   22 November 1840


The second number of part four of the Zoology has now been published. The account of Smith, Elder & Co. is presented.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  22 Nov 1840
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-582A

To Miles Joseph Berkeley   [26 November 1840]


Remarks that each of two species of Fagus separated by 1000 miles has a fungus that grows on it; the fungus species are probably closely allied.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  [26 Nov 1840]
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/39)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-583

To W. A. Leighton   1 December 1840


Acknowledges election as Honorary Member of Shropshire and North Wales Natural History and Antiquarian Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Allport Leighton
Date:  1 Dec 1840
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/133/57)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-584

To W. C. Redfield   [22 December 1840]


Illness has long delayed CD’s thanks for WCR’s meteorological pamphlets and geological reports. Mentions a reference to whirlwinds leaving rotary patterns in desert sand.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William C. Redfield
Date:  [22 Dec 1840]
Classmark:  Yale University: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Letters to William C. Redfield vol. 2 Scientific 1831-41(z117 00151 2) pp. 335–8)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-585

To William Buckland   [November 1840 – 17 February 1841]


He encloses an unidentified paper received from R. I. Murchison the previous day.

Is unable to provide information about Dr Du Gard.

Appreciates the maps of Glen Roy sent by WB. Would welcome the opinions of WB and Louis Agassiz concerning the parallel roads but cannot give up the idea of their marine origin.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Buckland
Date:  [Nov 1840 – 17 Feb 1841]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Buckland papers, Glaciation /4 (iv)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-641A

To Charles Lyell   [19 February 1840]


Remarks on his illness and treatment.

Discusses MS [of Coral reefs] and changes in his view of coral reefs since Journal of researches. Mentions C. G. Ehrenberg’s observations on coral reefs.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [19 Feb 1840]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.21)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-554

To Robert FitzRoy   [20 February 1840]


Poor health has made him give up all geological work.

Profits on their volumes [of Narrative] seem absurdly small.

Looks back on Beagle voyage as the most fortunate circumstance in his life.

Finds marriage a great happiness.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert FitzRoy
Date:  [20 Feb 1840]
Classmark:  DAR 144: 117
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-555

To William C. Redfield   24 February [1840]


Much interested in WCR’s paper on "Whirlwinds excited by fire" [Am. J. Sci. 36 (1839): 50–9; Edinburgh New Philos. J. 27 (1839): 369–79].

Sends a summary account of circular clouds and waterspouts formed during volcanic eruption in the Azores [S. Tillard, "Eruption of a volcano in sea off St Michael", Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. (1812): 152–8].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William C. Redfield
Date:  24 Feb [1840]
Classmark:  Yale University: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Letters to William C. Redfield vol. 2 Scientific 1831-41 (z117 00151 2) pp. 335–8)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-556

To Richard Owen   24 [February 1840]


Asks RO whether he has any MS [of Fossil Mammalia, no. 4] ready and to see that the plates are finished.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  24 [Feb 1840]
Classmark:  The Royal College of Surgeons of England (MS0025/1/5/11)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-557

To Benjamin Silliman   26 February 1840


Asks that a letter on tornados be forwarded to W. C. Redfield. Hopes Silliman received a copy of Journal of Researches.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Benjamin Silliman, Sr
Date:  26 Feb 1840
Classmark:  Gallery of History (4 December 1996)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-557F

To Basil Hall   15 March 1840


Discussion of the geology of Coquimbo, Chile.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Basil Hall
Date:  15 Mar 1840
Classmark:  Musée royal de Mariemont, Belgium (Aut. 1061/1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-558F

To Richard Owen   [March? 1840]


Sends a proof title page and asks RO to send a list of plates and contents [of Fossil mammalia] to the printer, Mr Stewart.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  [Mar? 1840]
Classmark:  Christie’s, New York (dealers) (29 October 1993)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-559F

To David Milne   20 [February 1840]


About earthquakes: the shock of February 1835 in Chile; possible connection between shocks occurring coincidentally in different parts of the world, and between earthquakes and the weather; DM’s collection of accounts of earthquakes in Scotland.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  David Milne Home
Date:  20 [Feb 1840]
Classmark:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Charles E. Mudie Collection, 1816–1897: Correspondence Post-1650 MS 0112)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-560

To the President and Council of the Geological Society of London   24 March 1840


Regrets that state of his health forces him to resign as one of the Secretaries of the Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Geological Society of London
Date:  24 Mar 1840
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/5/8 )
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-561

To the Geological Society of London   28 March [1840]


Feels he has no choice but to comply with the request of Council that he remain in office. Is reluctant to do so as his health has caused him to miss meetings and he has never once attended without suffering the next day. Cannot hold office beyond next anniversary meeting.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Geological Society of London
Date:  28 Mar [1840]
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/5/56)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-562

From David Milne   28 March 1840


Comments on CD’s paper on South American volcanoes [Trans. of the Geol. Soc. of London, 2d ser., pt 3, 5 (1840): 601–31]. Jets of steam or flame issuing from the side of a hill in Glen Almond.

Author:  David Milne Home
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Mar 1840
Classmark:  Milne Home 1891, pp. 69–72
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-562F

From J. G. Malcolmson   2 January 1840


Discusses CD’s Glen Roy paper; would like to see the theory put beyond dispute. Tells of Mr Stables’ observations on the parallel roads. Discusses geological features of Scotland which he is sure are marine in origin.

Author:  John Grant Malcolmson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Jan 1840
Classmark:  DAR 171: 31; Geological Society of London (Membership certificates, 1840)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1147

To [W. A. Leighton]   [1840–77?]


Valediction only of a letter stuck into a writing case.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Allport Leighton
Date:  [1840–77?]
Classmark:  Mr D. Evans (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13770H
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