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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To a bookseller   9 September [1860]


Orders one copy of the issue of the Atlantic Monthly for last August (but not worth sending to America for) and two copies of the issue for next October.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  9 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  International Autograph Auctions Ltd (dealers) (14 December 2013 lot 403)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2908F

To T. H. Huxley   10 September [1860]


Sends Asa Gray’s review [of Origin]. Asks THH’s advice on getting it reprinted in England.

Hooker’s expedition to Syria.

Disgraceful review of Tyndall’s book in Athenæum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  10 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 135–6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2909

To Asa Gray   10 September [1860]


Has received second part of AG’s Atlantic Monthly article ["Darwin on the origin of species", 6 (1860): 109–16, 229–39], and would like to have it reprinted in England with the first part.

Regrets no reviewer has touched upon embryology, which he feels provides one of his strongest arguments.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  10 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (34)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2910

To George Gordon   11 September [1860]


Asks whether GG can provide a few fresh specimens of Goodyera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gordon
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 60.13)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2911

To John Innes   11 September [1860]


Going to sea-side for Etty’s health.

Asks JBI further questions about a striped donkey he had reported to CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2912

To Daniel Oliver   11 September [1860]


Requests observations on Drosera and Dionaea,

and asks DO to look up Buchanan and Wight on insectivorous plants ["Conspectus of Indian Utricularia", Hooker’s J. Bot. 1 (1849): 372–4].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 9 (EH 88205993)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2913

To Charles Lyell   12 September [1860]


Additional response, at length, to CL’s criticisms of natural selection. Comments on failure of rodents to develop in Australia. Argues that most species become extinct and do not develop. Discusses variability, especially variability of rudimentary organs. Extinction among ammonites. Survival of Ornithorhynchus. Descent of marsupials and placentals. Emphasises embryological argument for descent of species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  12 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.226)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2915

To Daniel Oliver   15 [September 1860]


Thanks for reference to Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

Requests DO observe rate at which Australian Drosera closes.

On detection of nitrogen in organic fluids.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  15 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 10 (EH 88205994)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2917

To George Varenne Reed   15 September [1860]


The family will move to sea-side because of his daughter Henrietta’s health. When they return he will be glad to send Leonard twice a week for tutoring. Frank is in a low form at school but is doing very well.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Varenne Reed
Date:  15 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Buckinghamshire Record Office (D22.39.4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2918

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   15 September [1860]


Asks for any published reference providing account of the movement of the viscid hairs or leaves of Drosera lunata, an Indian Drosera which Lindley cites in Vegetable kingdom, p. 433.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  15 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 22 September 1860, p. 853
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2918A

From Thomas Vernon Wollaston   [16 September 1860]



Has received a batch of S. African specimens which contain many of the Atlantic genera he found in Madeira and the Canaries.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 302
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2919

To George Gordon   17 September [1860]


Thanks GG for specimens of Goodyera. The rostellum structure is near to that of Epipactis and CD is almost certain that the action is the same.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gordon
Date:  17 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 60.14)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2920

From James Drummond   17 September 1860



Reports observations on the fertilisation of Goodeniaceae, and particularly Leschenaultia. [See 2992.]

Author:  James Drummond
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Sept 1860
Classmark:  DAR 157a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2920A

To T. H. Huxley   18 September [1860]


Expresses his grief upon hearing of the death of THH’s young son. Recalls his own bitter loss of a child.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  18 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley papers)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2920B

From Charles Lyell   18 September 1860


It is strange that Agassiz, who is for the "sanctity of species", should favour Pallas’s view of hybrid origin of domestic dog.

CL has not meant to advocate successive creation of types but to question assumption that all mammals descended from single stock. Why should a Triassic reptile or bird not move towards mammalian form because an ancestral marsupial has appeared? Believes recent appearance of rodents and bats in Australia explains their lack of development.

Can CD supply a reference on plant extinction on St Helena?

Believes marsupials better adapted for surviving drought in Australia than higher mammals.

Will not press argument about lack of development of mammalian forms on islands, but CD should note objection.

Does CD’s belief in multiple origin of dogs affect faith in single primates in different regions?

Does time lapse between putative independently descended mammalian forms mean first form will "keep down" later incipient one? Thus Homo sapiens has prevented improvement of other anthropomorphs; bats and rodents on islands would prevent improvement of lower forms into mammalian.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  18 Sept 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VI, pp. 187–95d
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2920C

From Daniel Oliver   19 September 1860



CD’s observations on preference of Drosera for milk and nitrogenous fluids, and the effect of nitrate of ammonia are interesting. Asks whether CD is satisfied that the effect is not due to density of fluid or to a chemical irritant. His own observations suggest such possibilities.

Author:  Daniel Oliver
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 Sept 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 12–13
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2921

To W. H. Harvey   [20–4 September 1860]


Replies to WHH’s criticisms of the Origin. Is disappointed that WHH does not understand what CD means by natural selection. CD has said "ad nauseam" that selection can do nothing without previous variability. Natural selection accumulates successive variations in any profitable direction. If CD had to rewrite his book he would use "natural preservation" rather than selection. Defends his necessarily conjectural illustrations. Agrees with what WHH says on the antiquity of the world, but it makes no impression on him. Considers the difficulty of the first modification of the first protozoan. Emphasises that there is nothing in his theory "necessitating in each case progression of acquisition", nor is it the case that "a low form would never conquer a high" in the struggle for life. Attempts to explain what he means by a "dominant" group; dominance is always relative, and he does not believe any one group could be predominant. He has no objections to "sudden jumps"; they would aid him in some cases, but he has found no evidence to make him believe in them and a good deal pointing the other way.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Henry Harvey
Date:  [20–4 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 98 (ser. 2): 45–53
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2922

To Daniel Oliver   21 [September 1860]


Lists of nitrogenous organic fluids that produce contraction in Drosera, and details of how to reproduce results.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  21 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 11 and part of 17 (EH 88205995, 88206001)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2923

To Daniel Oliver   [22–3 September 1860]


Sends address.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [22–3 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 12 and part of 18 (EH 88205996, 88206002)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2924

To Charles Lyell   23 [September 1860]


Hopes to get Asa Gray’s review of Origin republished.

Argues for single origin of mammals.

Encloses two phylogenetic diagrams indicating possible descent of mammals.

Comments on rodents, marsupials, and dingo in Australia,

and on a paper on the survival of stumps as a result of root grafting.

Argues that man had a single progenitor and consists of a single species.

Comments on destruction of non-white races.

Discusses introduction of rodents to islands by man.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  23 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.227)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2925
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