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To H. C. Watson   [after 10 June 1856]



Do the plants that are common to Europe and North America nearly all live north of the Arctic Circle? CD bases his question on HCW’s "capital" comparison between relations of Europe to North America and Europe to E. Asia if the intervening land had been submerged. CD has been led to speculate that in the mid-Pliocene the organisms now living in middle Europe and northern U. S. lived within the Arctic Circle. Subsequent movements of this flora with advance and retreat of glaciers would explain present distribution better than Forbes’s vast submergences.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Date:  [after 10 June 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 185: 52
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1899

To John Lubbock   12 [June 1856]


Smallpox in the village. Death of Joseph Parslow’s son.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  12 [June 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 3 (EH 88206450)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1900

To E. W. V. Harcourt   12 June [1856]


Would like to compare the length of the wings of non-migratory and migratory swallows.

Wonders if EWVH could show him skins of Columba livia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  12 June [1856]
Classmark:  Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (MS. Harcourt dep. adds. 346, fols. 252–4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1900F

To W. D. Fox   14 June [1856]


Does not intend to work systematically on cats. Their origin is in doubt and they have been crossed too many ways.

It would be valuable to know whether half-bred ducks are fertile inter se or with a third breed. Is investigating this with pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  14 June [1856]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 98)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1901

To Charles Lyell   16 [June 1856]


Condemns theory of Edward Forbes and others that many islands were formerly connected to South America by now submerged continents.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  16 [June 1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.131)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1902

To J. S. Henslow   16 June [1856]


Sends a cultivated specimen of Myosotis (first generation) grown from seed sent by JSH. Asks for a tuft of flower.

Hopes JSH will publish a book on teaching botany, because he has no idea how to begin with his children.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  16 June [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A110–11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1903

To J. D. Hooker   17–8 [June 1856]



Comments on Huxley–Falconer dispute [see "On the method of palaeontology", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 18 (1856): 43–54].

Wollaston’s On the variation of species [1856].

Has exploded to Lyell against the extension of continents.

Plants common to Europe and NW. America as result of temperate climate.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  17–18 [June 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 170
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1904

From Charles Lyell   17 June 1856


CD forgets an author [CD himself in Coral reefs] "who, by means of atolls, contrived to submerge archipelagoes (or continents?), the mountains of which must originally have differed from each other in height 8,000 (or 10,000?) feet".

CL begins to think that all continents and oceans are chiefly post-Eocene, but he admits that it is questionable how far one is at liberty to call up continents "to convey a Helix from the United States to Europe in Miocene or Pliocene periods".

Will CD explain why the land and marine shells of Porto Santo and Madeira differ while the plants so nearly agree?

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 June 1856
Classmark:  DAR 146: 475
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1905

To Robert Everest?   18 June [1856]


Seeks to verify whether bulldogs have degenerated in India [see Variation 1: 37–8].

CD has "sometimes gone so far as to doubt whether climate has any influence even on colour".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Everest
Date:  18 June [1856]
Classmark:  Barbara and Robert Pincus (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1906

From H. C. Watson   20 June 1856


Conveys [? J. T. I. Boswell-]Syme’s opinion of variability of agrarian weeds and ranges of species common to U. S. and W. Europe. The Hispano-Hibernian connection.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 June 1856
Classmark:  DAR 181: 34
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1907

To J. D. Hooker   22 June [1856]



CD sends reference for "Laburnum case", with comment on his own credulity.

Wants to quote JDH on plants endemic to NW. America.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  22 June [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 165
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1908

To W. B. Tegetmeier   24 June [1856]


Now has 89 pigeons. The laughing pigeons are safe at Down. Can WBT spare a pair of Mr Gulliver’s runts?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  24 June [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1909

To E. W. V. Harcourt   24 June [1856]


Thanks EWVH for his offer but he is not likely to go to London soon to visit John Leadbeater, the bird dealer; he could take a rock pigeon for comparison, but other skins he would have compare at the British Museum.

Would be obliged if EWVH could investigate domestic species in Egypt, especially a type of dog depicted in ancient monuments; and he is particularly interested in tumbler pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  24 June [1856]
Classmark:  Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (MS. Harcourt dep. adds. 346, fols. 255–7)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1909F

To Charles Lyell   25 June [1856]


Criticises at length the concept of submerged continents attaching islands to the mainland in the recent period. Notes drastic alteration of geography required, the dissimilar species on opposite shores of continents, and differences between volcanic islands and mountains of mainland areas. Admits sea-bed subsidence, but not enough to engulf continents. Denies that theory can explain island flora and fauna.

Considers Edward Forbes’s idea a check on study of dissemination of species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  25 June [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.132)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1910

From J. D. Hooker   [26 June or 3 July 1856]



Can no longer make out story of NW. American plants; consulting Asa Gray.

Questionable validity of seed-salting experiments.

Aristolochia and Viscum seem to shed pollen before flower opens.

Ray Society should only do translations.

Thomas Thomson in India has rediscovered Aldrovanda, a rare relative of Drosera.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [26 June or 3 July] 1856
Classmark:  DAR 104: 197
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1911

From T. V. Wollaston   [27 June 1856]


Madeiran insects. Regards the "Atlantic province" as a centre of the Coleoptera.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [27 June 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 181: 137
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1912

From T. V. Wollaston   [c. 27 June 1856]



On the relationship of the loss of the powers of flight [in Coleoptera] to increase of bulk.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 27 June 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 300
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1912A



Cancelled: appears in 1917.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  5 July [1856]
Classmark:  Charles Lyell’s notebook 213: 101–2?
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1912B

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [July 1856]


His laughers are well, and he has heard them emit an odd note.

Thinks there is an extra vertebra in the neck of the Scandaroon, but is not certain and may have blundered.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [July 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1913

To T. H. Huxley   1 July [1856]


Asks for information on geographical distribution of ascidians; are any closely allied species or genera found in north and south temperate zones that do not have representatives in the tropics?

Answers some questions on [cirripede] antennae.

If THH ever sees a tree washed ashore, will he observe whether any earth is embedded between roots?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  1 July [1856]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 175, 37–9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1914
Document type
letter (256)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Hooker, J. D. (39)
Tegetmeier, W. B. (24)
Lyell, Charles (12)
Lubbock, John (10)
Woodward, S. P. (10)
Fox, W. D. (9)
Gray, Asa (8)
Huxley, T. H. (8)
Watson, H. C. (8)
Harcourt, E. W. V. (7)
Blyth, Edward (6)
Henslow, J. S. (6)
Wollaston, T. V. (6)
Bunbury, C. J. F. (5)
Dana, J. D. (5)
Bentham, George (4)
Darwin, W. E. (4)
Eyton, T. C. (4)
Mantell, W. B. D. (4)
Berkeley, M. J. (3)
Birch, Samuel (3)
Edmondston, Laurence (3)
Gray, J. E. (3)
Lubbock, J. W. (b) (3)
Andersson, C. J. (2)
Bosquet, J. A. H. de (2)
Daniell, W. F. (2)
Darwin, G. H. (2)
Davidson, Thomas (2)
Davy, John (2)
Gosse, P. H. (2)
Herbert, J. M. (2)
Higgins, John (2)
Layard, E. L. (2)
Murray, John (b) (2)
Phillips, John (2)
Babington, C. C. (1)
Bakewell, R. H. (1)
Brent, B. P. (1)
Covington, Syms (1)
Dickie, George (1)
Elliot, Walter (1)
Everest, Robert (1)
Falconer, Hugh (1)
Galton, Francis (1)
Gardeners’ Chronicle (1)
Gulliver, George (1)
Gurney, J. H. (1)
Hancock, Albany (1)
Harvey, W. H. (1)
Holland, Miss (1)
Horner, K. M. (1)
Horner, Leonard (1)
Hutton, Thomas (1)
Lowe, R. T. (1)
Lubbock, Harriet (1)
Lyell, K. M. (1)
Morris, John (1)
Norman, Ebenezer (1)
Oldfield, H. A. (1)
Reed, G. V. (1)
Richardson, John (1)
Robillard, Victor de (1)
Royal Society of London (1)
Sabine, Edward (1)
Secretary, Royal Society (1)
Spencer, Herbert (1)
Stainton, H. T. (1)
Thompson, John (1)
Thwaites, G. H. K. (1)
Unidentified (1)
Wallace, Peter (1)
Wedgwood, F. E. E. (1)
Wedgwood, Godfrey (1)
Westwood, J. O. (1)
Yarrell, William (1)
01 (19)
02 (10)
03 (15)
04 (20)
05 (24)
06 (33)
07 (26)
08 (19)
09 (18)
10 (14)
11 (34)
12 (24)
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