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To J. D. Hooker   15 March [1857]



Separation of sexes in trees [U. S.].

Do plants offer positive evidence for "continuous land" theory?

Protean genera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  15 Mar [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 193
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2066

To J. D. Hooker   [21 March 1857]



Ranges of species in large vs small genera: Asa Gray’s compilation fits CD’s expectation.

CD studies seedling mortality in his weed garden.

JDH’s work on Indian flora.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [21 Mar 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 192a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2067

From James Tenant   31 March 1857



Sends account of his successful experiments in feeding wheat seeds to minnows.

Author:  James Tenant
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  31 Mar 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 257
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2069

From Hensleigh Wedgwood   [before 29 September 1857]



Suggests CD use the common origin of the French "chef" and the English "head" or "évêque" and "bishop" to illustrate the parallels between extinction and transitional forms in language and palaeontology [see Natural selection, p. 384].

Author:  Hensleigh Wedgwood
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 29 Sept 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 48: A80–1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2070

From Edwards Crisp   4 April 1857



Reports on wheat in the stomach of fish he caught.

Author:  Edwards Crisp
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 221
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2071

To J. D. Dana   5 April [1857]


Asks whether Crustacea from temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere are more strongly analogous to those in same latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere than are Arctic to Antarctic Crustacea.

Discusses astonishing finds of mammalian and reptilian remains in Purbeck beds; notes reactions of Lyell.

Has doubts about Richard Owen’s recent classification of mammals [J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 2 (1858): 1–37].

Works away [on Natural selection].

Asa Gray has given valuable assistance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  5 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2072

To J. D. Hooker   8 April [1857]



Independence of variation from climate shown by several plant genera; CD asks for confirmation.

Progressing with book [Natural selection].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 191
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2073

To William Sharpey   9 April [1857]


Recommendations of books of general interest [for the Royal Society library]. These include [Louis] Agassiz’s works, [William] McGillivray’s [History of] British birds, and David Low’s [On the domesticated animals of the British Islands].

Comments on current candidates for the Royal Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Sharpey
Date:  9 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 128 (photocopy)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2073F

From J. D. Hooker   [11 April 1857]



JDH cites W. H. Harvey’s observations on Fucus and David Don’s on Juncus as examples of variations that are independent of climate. There are many such cases. Gives his working scheme for categorising variation.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [11 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 198–201
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2074

To J. D. Hooker   12 April [1857]



Thanks JDH for response on variation. Studying variations that seem correlated with environment, e.g., north vs south, ascending mountains.

CD’s weed garden: observations on slugs killing seedlings.

Seed-salting. One-seventh of the plants of any country could be transported 924 miles by sea and would germinate.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  12 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 192
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2075

From T. V. Wollaston   [12 April 1857]


Lists groups of insects absent from the Madeiran fauna.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [12 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 181: 139
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2076

To Charles Lyell   13 April [1857]


CD returns a letter from Wollaston.

Although opposed to the Forbesian doctrine [of continental extension] as a general rule, CD would have no objection to its being proved in some cases. Does not think Wollaston has proved it; nor can anyone until more is known about the means of distribution of insects – but the identity of the two faunas is certainly interesting.

His health is very poor and his "everlasting species-Book" quite overwhelms him with work. It is beyond his powers, but he hopes to live to finish it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  13 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Edinburgh University Library, Centre for Research Collections (Gen.109/702)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2077

From George Robert Waterhouse   14 April 1857


Has found no reference to construction of bees’ cells in works referred to by CD. Describes cell of Osmia atricapilla. Hive-bees’ cell was described at Entomological Society.

Author:  George Robert Waterhouse
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 181: 21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2078

To Laurence Edmondston   19 April [1857]


Thanks for pigeon.

Are there Shetland birds chequered with black marks, as Carl Julian Graba states are in Faeroes [Reise nach Färö (1830)] and Col. King in the Hebrides?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Laurence Edmondston
Date:  19 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  L. D. Edmondston (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2079

From James Tenant   23 April 1857



Fish will take both sorts of seeds sent by CD, but will not take oats.

Author:  James Tenant
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 258
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2081

To P. H. Gosse   27 April [1857]


Asks PHG to conduct an experiment to see if young littoral molluscs will cling to a duck’s foot – CD seeks to explain distribution of molluscs without adopting E. Forbes’s [continental extension] theory.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Gosse
Date:  27 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Leeds University Library Special Collections (Brotherton Collection: Gosse Correspondence)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2082

From J. D. Dana   27 April 1857


In reply to CD’s query [see 2072], JDD describes what little is known about the crustacea of the Antarctic and southern lands.

Knows of no species of the cold temperate south identical with those of the cold temperate north.

Author:  James Dwight Dana
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 162: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2083

To J. D. Hooker   [29 April 1857]



Curative power of hydropathy.

General hairiness of alpine plants questioned: direct environmental effect.

CD has long felt JDH is too hard on bad observers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [29 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 194
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2084

To W. D. Fox   [30 April 1857]


His impressions of the hydropathic establishment and E. W. Lane. Is convinced the only thing for "chronic cases" is the water-cure.

Asks if WDF knows of any breed of pig that originated or was modified by a cross with a Chinese or Neapolitan pig, and whether the crossbreed bred true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [30 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 103)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2085

To Alfred Russel Wallace   1 May 1857


Reports long preparation of work on how species and varieties differ. Agreement with Wallace’s conclusions as reported in Annals and Magazine of Natural History and in his letter to CD of 10 0ct [1856]. On distinction between domestic varieties and those in "a state of nature".

On mating of jaguars and leopards, the breeding of poultry, pigeons, etc.

Requests help for his experimenting on means of distribution of organic beings on oceanic islands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  1 May 1857
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2086
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