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To J. E. Gray   1 July [1856]


Requests information on ranges of echinoderms for his essay on variation [Natural selection]. Are there genera with representative species in northern and southern seas, but none in tropics?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  1 July [1856]
Classmark:  Natural History Museum (General Special Collections MSS DAR 69)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1915

From Charles Lyell   [1 July 1856]


To cast doubt on CD’s view that volcanic action is associated with elevation of land, CL suggests that local oscillations in strata underlying volcanoes could also explain how active volcanoes have uplifted fossil deposits of marine shells. Overall he is more inclined to believe that recent volcanoes belong to areas of subsidence rather than of elevation.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [1 July 1856]
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1915A

From John Henry Gurney   2 July 1856


Hybrids of Phasianus versicolor breed freely between themselves as well as with common pheasants. Has been assured that hybrids between mallards and pintails are sometimes fertile inter se.

Author:  John Henry Gurney
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 July 1856
Classmark:  DAR 165: 259
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1916

To Charles Lyell   5 July [1856]


Discusses theory of submerged continental extensions. Objects that if it is applied to one island, it must be applied to all. Admits that some volcanoes may have been associated with subsidence, in contrast to his former view. Cites evidence from S. American Cordillera. Doubts that elevation associated with volcanoes is merely local, and that great ocean areas are necessarily sinking.

Says he will make his essay [on species] as complete as possible and will discuss CL’s Principles.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  5 July [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.133)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1917

To J. D. Hooker   5 [July 1856]



CD cannot swallow continental extensions. Has written to Lyell giving a lengthy criticism of the concept [see 1910] and has asked Lyell to forward the letter to JDH.

Perhaps Aristolochia and Viscum are protandrous.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  5 [July 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 166
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1918

To J. D. Hooker   5 July [1856]



Troubled by JDH’s connection between Antarctic island flora and Fuegia, which CD sees as part of a general relation to southern circumpolar flora. Encloses list [not found] of plants from Tristan d’Acunha.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  5 July [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 167
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1919



Cancelled: appears in 1920.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  8 July [1856]
Classmark:  Charles Lyell’s notebook II: 95–8?
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1919A

To Charles Lyell   8 July [1856]


Thanks CL for loan of [Matthew Fontaine?] Maury’s map.

Discusses possibility of submerged continental extension including Madeira, Canaries, and Azores.

Mentions icebergs as carriers of European plants.

Hooker’s work on Antarctic flora.

Comments on coolness of tropics in glacial period and consequent migrations. Hooker’s views on this.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  8 July [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.134)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1920

To J. D. Hooker   8 [July 1856]



CD writing species sketch; must cite cases favouring multiple creations.

Requests details on species JDH listed as common to Chile and New Zealand. Notes their genera are mundane.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 [July 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 168
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1921

To T. H. Huxley   8 July [1856]


Will use Boltenia case cautiously, if at all.


Bisexualism in Flustra and Ascidia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  8 July [1856]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 40)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1922

From J. D. Hooker   10 July 1856



[T. Bell Salter’s?] "hybrid" Epilobium a false claim.

Admires Huxley’s response to Falconer [see 1904].

Tristan da Cunha plant list, requested by CD, supports JDH’s position [on continental extension?].

Chilean plants not exceptional.

JDH considers parallels between Australian Alps and European plants strong evidence for multiple creations.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 July 1856
Classmark:  DAR 100: 96–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1923

To J. D. Hooker   13 July [1856]



Has found no case of Huxley’s eternal hermaphrodites.

Cruelty and waste in nature.

CD does not believe in hybrids.

One proven case of multiple creations would smash CD’s theory.

Asks JDH to read MS on alpine and Arctic distribution.

Lyell’s "conversion" to mutability.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  13 July [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 169
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1924

To James Dwight Dana   14 July [1856]


Asks whether the blind cave animals described by B. Silliman Jr [Am. J. Sci. 2d ser. 11 (1851): 332–9] belong to genera found only on the American continent.

On geographical distribution of Crustacea, CD asks whether northern genera sent species to the Southern Hemisphere or did southern genera send species north?

Does he know of any author who has described fossil trees in South Shetland Islands?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  14 July [1856]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1925

To Asa Gray   14 July [1856]


Asks whether Allegheny Mountains are sufficiently continuous so that plants could travel from north to south along them.

Hopes AG’s work on geographical distribution is progressing, as he has questions on plants common to Europe which do not range up to Arctic.

Are intermediate varieties less numerous in individuals than the varieties they connect?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  14 July [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1926

From S. P. Woodward   15 July 1856



Has reduced 20 Cyrena species to geographical varieties of one species, Cyrena fluminalis. Hooker is reducing Indian flora at the rate of 19 to 1.

Recommends W. H. Harvey’s Seaside book [1849] and Charles Pickering’s Races of man [1850].

Author:  Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 July 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 304
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1927

From S. P. Woodward   [15 July 1856]



Lists Lusitanian shells with wide ranges beyond that geographical province.

Antiquity and elevation of land mass is more important than latitude for the distribution of shells.

Author:  Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [15 July 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 305
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1928

From John Richardson   17 July 1856



Responds to CD’s questions about the geographical distribution of freshwater fishes.

Author:  John Richardson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 July 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 285
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1929

To the Secretary, Royal Society   18 July 1856


Recommends W. B. Carpenter’s paper on Foraminifera, pt 2, be published in Philosophical Transactions [R. Soc. Lond. 146 (1856): 547–69].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Secretary, Royal Society
Date:  18 July 1856
Classmark:  The Royal Society (RR3: 40)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1930

To S. P. Woodward   18 July 1856


Thanks for information about variability in shells.

Comments on Harvey’s Seaside book [1849].

"I am growing as bad as the worst about species and hardly have a vestige of belief in the permanence of species left in me".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Date:  18 July 1856
Classmark:  DAR 148: 378
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1931

To J. D. Hooker   19 July [1856]



Multiple creations.

Necessity for crossing in plants and animals: JDH to take up the subject; explains separate sexes in trees.

Continental extensions.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  19 July [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 171
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1932
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)
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Dickie, George (1)
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Everest, Robert (1)
Falconer, Hugh (1)
Galton, Francis (1)
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Harvey, W. H. (1)
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Lyell, K. M. (1)
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Reed, G. V. (1)
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