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From Benjamin Silliman Jr   27 October 1860

Summary

On the suggestion of Jeffries Wyman, he writes about the rats that he captured in Mammoth Cave in 1850. They were indeed blind. Reginald Mantell studied them and learned that with long exposure to graduated light, they became somewhat sensitised. Sends copy of an abstract which he wrote as a letter to A. H. Guyot ["On the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky", Am. Journal of Sci. and Arts 2d ser. 11 (1851)]. [See 3007.]

Author:  Benjamin Silliman, Jr
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Oct 1860
Classmark:  Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL (bound with Silliman 1851)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2966B

From Edward Cresy   30 October 1860

Summary

Sends CD passages from A. S. Taylor’s book [On poisons in relation to medical jurisprudence and medicine, 2d ed. (1859)], citing smallest portions of poisons that are chemically detectable. "Drosera beats the chemists hollow."

Author:  Edward Cresy, Jr
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Oct 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 6, 58.2: 49–52
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2968

From John Medows Rodwell   31 October 1860

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Summary

Observations on his white blue-eyed cat. There is no sign of deafness.

Apropos of ch. 5 of Origin, tells of blind rats found when a Roman bridge was excavated.

Author:  John Medows Rodwell
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  31 Oct 1860
Classmark:  DAR 47: 167–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2970

From Daniel Oliver   [before 23 October 1860]

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Summary

Quotes note by Julius Milde on Drosera rotundifolia from Botanische Zeitung (1852): 540.

Author:  Daniel Oliver
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 23 Oct 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 58.2: 55
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2971

From Edward Cresy   10 November 1860

Summary

Explains discrepancies in weights and measures caused by changes since 1836 in apothecaries’ measures.

EC has found that a discrepancy in A. W. von Hofmann’s experiments with iodine solutions resulted from an error in Hofmann’s use of decimals.

Reports S. P. Woodward’s opinion of the Origin: "a very sad book, it unsettles all one’s religious principles and the worst of it is so much of it is true".

Author:  Edward Cresy, Jr
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Nov 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 7, 9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2980

From Trenham Reeks   15 November 1860

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Summary

Sends weights of three objects (blotting paper, thread, and hair) to within 1/1000 of a grain.

Author:  Trenham Reeks
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 Nov 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 10–11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2984

From Daniel Oliver   23 November 1860

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Summary

Dr Hooker has given him CD’s memorandum on the fly-catcher.

Copies out extract from Curtis’ Botanical Magazine [On Apocynum androsæmifolium, 8 (1794): tab.]: 280 and gives a further reference in Erasmus Darwin’s The loves of plants [1789]. Suggests that they look at Apocynum.

Author:  Daniel Oliver
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Nov 1860
Classmark:  DAR 157a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2995A

From Charles Lyell   24 November 1860

Summary

CL has calculated that elevation and subsidence of certain formations in Sweden and Norway take place at the rate of 2 1/2 feet per century. He now proposes to estimate the age of a bed by including a conjecture that pauses occur in the oscillations in the ratio of 4 periods of stasis to one of movement. Applying this formula to Scotland, the last subsidence and re-elevation would be 590,000 years and the age of the beds with human implements would be 20,000 years.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Nov 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 40–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2996A

From J. D. Hooker   [26 November – 4 December 1860]

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Summary

Encourages CD’s work in vegetable physiology.

Ascending the Lebanon JDH noted limits of plant distribution as CD requested: lower limits of a genus sharper than upper. Sharpness of boundaries related to a plant’s moisture requirement.

Impressed by "sporadic" distribution at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [26 Nov – 4 Dec 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 158–60
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3000

From Charles Lyell   30 November 1860

Summary

Satisfied that CD finds his conjectured rate of elevation and long periods of stasis reasonable, even if these periods cannot be estimated. Explaining upheaval by subterranean lava flow makes these pauses plausible. Suspects that mountainous areas move more than lowland and coastal areas. General upheavals or subsidence in Europe in glacial period are unlikely. Believes with Jamieson that there was glacial action in Scotland before its submergence and that it was equally mountainous then. Subterranean upheaval visits different countries by turn. Horizontal Silurian strata must have been submerged and upheaved. Rest has always been the general surface character. Believes, however, that the quantity of late Tertiary movement is against CD’s belief in the constancy of continents and oceans: perhaps since the Miocene period, but not since the Cretaceous.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Nov 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 49–57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3001A

From J. M. Rodwell   6 December 1860

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Summary

Discusses Origin, suggesting confirmation might come from studying reproduction in microscopic organisms.

Gives anecdotal observations of blind rats and white cats.

Author:  John Medows Rodwell
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Dec 1860
Classmark:  DAR 47: 169–70
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3012

From J. D. Hooker   [6–11 December 1860]

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Summary

JDH’s page-by-page criticisms on Origin, first edition, as requested by CD for preparation of the third edition.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [6–11 Dec 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 218
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3013

From T. H. Huxley   [before 14 December 1860]

Summary

Would be glad to have Chauncey Wright’s [Origin] review for the Natural History Review.

Author:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 14 Dec 1860]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (39)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3022

From G. C. Wallich   14 December [1860]

Summary

Response to [3020]. CD has been misled by errors made in the Times notice [5 Dec 1860, p. 5]. GCW does not doubt that Foraminiferous matter as well as other deep sea deposits vary greatly in thickness, but positive results are difficult to establish. Some areas of the sea bed are bare but their extent has not been established. He now thinks that he was too hasty in the conclusion that deep currents produce abrasion and rounding of gravel.

Author:  George Charles Wallich
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Dec [1860]
Classmark:  DAR Pamphlet collection (bound in Wallich 1860)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3023A

From Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood   25 December [1860?]

Summary

Charlotte [Wedgwood Langton?] reports from Mr Wallis on time of day that sundew opens.

Author:  Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth) Wedgwood
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Dec [1860?]
Classmark:  DAR 181
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3030

From J. D. Hooker   28 December 1860

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Summary

CD’s article worth publishing in Gardeners’ Chronicle. JDH interprets CD’s observation in terms of selection. Has observed similar phenomenon in Cruciferae, where it can be taxonomically important.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Dec 1860
Classmark:  DAR 100: 143–4, 146–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3033

From Gideon Lincecum   29 December 1860

Summary

Gives observations on the habits of the "agricultural ant" of Texas.

Author:  Gideon Lincecum
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  29 Dec 1860
Classmark:  Linnean Society of London
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3035

From J. D. Hooker   [11 May – 3 December 1860]

Summary

CD’s divergent series explains those anomalous plants that hover between what would otherwise be two species in a genus.

Inclined to see conifers as a sub-series of dicotyledons that developed in parallel to monocotyledons, but retained cryptogamic characters.

Mentions H. C. Watson’s view of variations.

Man has destroyed more species than he has created varieties.

Variations are centrifugal because the chances are a million to one that identity of form once lost will return.

In the human race, we find no reversion "that would lead us to confound a man with his ancestors".

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [11 May – 3 Dec 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 205.5: 217 (Letters), DAR 47: 214
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3036

From E. A. Darwin   12 November [1860–8]

Summary

Sends the tithes.

Author:  Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Nov [1860-8]
Classmark:  DAR 105: B11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4340

From John Cattell   [after 5 May 1860]

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Summary

Future orders will be highly esteemed.

Author:  John Cattell
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 5 May 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 53.2: 167r
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9213
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