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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

To Ebenezer Norman   [24 September 1860]


Instructs EN to copy and post letter [2922].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Ebenezer Norman
Date:  [24 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 98 (ser. 2): 45v
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2926

From Daniel Oliver   25 September 1860



His results with pure gum on Drosera spathulata entirely support CD’s opinion. Other observations on insectivorous plants.

Author:  Daniel Oliver
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Sept 1860
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 1–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2927

From Charles Lyell   25 September 1860


Returns "excellent" MS in which CD favours hybrid origin of domestic dog, which CL believes strengthens case for common progenitor of wild species.

Doubts CD’s authorities for antiquity of dingo.

Variation will raise many points for investigation.

"Leporine" hare–rabbit hybrid should be investigated.

Has re-read passages in Origin that CD suggested.

Annals of Natural History would probably reprint Gray’s review of Origin at their own expense.

CD’s thought that modern reptiles could not develop into existing Mammalia but only into another high form is a "grand notion" compatible with "the infinite capacity of the creative power".

Comments on New Guinea marsupials.

Still thinks that the Australian genera and species are so well fitted for extraordinary droughts that they would get the better of the dingo.

Suggests that once there were more races of man, though from common stock. Competition and then hybridity checked divergence.

Falconer’s views on elephant classification. CL attaches little value to Falconer’s objection that mastodons and elephants do not come in chronologically, as they should in CD’s view.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Sept 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 3–12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2927A

To Charles Lyell   26 [September 1860]


Mentions extinction on St Helena.

Madeira and Canary Island insects are found at Cape of Good Hope.

Regrets errors on dingo in his manuscript on the dog.

Discusses crosses among pigeons.

Compares development in birds and mammals.

Plans to write about other domestic animals.

Discusses races of early man.

Falconer’s discoveries of fossil elephants.

Comments on articles by Asa Gray.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  26 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.228)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2928

To Daniel Oliver   [10 October 1860]


Delighted to try experiments on Drosera spathulata.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [10 Oct 1860]
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2929

To Asa Gray   26 September [1860]


Has read sheets of AG’s third Atlantic Monthly article [Oct 1860] and praises it and AG’s other reviews and articles highly.

Is surprised at the inability of others to grasp the meaning of natural selection.

Has been testing the sensitivity of Drosera, which he finds remarkable.

Asks if AG will be able to make some observations on orchids for him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  26 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (28)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2930

From Charles Lyell   27 September 1860


Fears that multiple origin of the domestic dog will be extended to mammals or man. Believes, with Hooker, that whatever occurs in domestication is possible in nature.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Sept 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, p. 12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2930A

To Charles Lyell   28 [September 1860]


Discusses extinction of ammonites.

Discusses August Krohn’s cirripede research and Krohn’s correction of his own work.

Discusses origin of dog in connection with origin of man.

Comments on the guinea-pig in South America.

Notes K. E. von Baer’s view of species.

Mentions difficulty of crossing rabbit and hare.

Agrees with Hooker’s views on variation under cultivation and in nature.

Regrets use of term "natural selection", would now use "Natural Preservation".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  28 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.229)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2931

To J. S. Henslow   28 [September 1860]


Has been observing Drosera. Asks JSH whether a curious motion in the red fluid poured out from the viscid hairs is a known or common phenomenon. It surprised him, but he is "so ignorant of vegetable physiology".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  28 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A76–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2932

From Charles Lyell   30 September 1860


Expects lack of diversification of immigrant mammals on long isolated islands will come to show slowness of selective change.

Asks whether CD has speculated on turtles becoming terrestrial on remote islands.

Perhaps non-diversification on islands is explained by tiny proportion of variable species. Those that vary on continent may not do so on island.

A. Gray is afraid of objections to Origin from imperfection of fossil record.

His argument with Falconer over the hypothesis of limited modifiability.

Are the bird-like characters of the Apteryx parts not yet suppressed or nascent organs?

Extinctions of ammonites, belemnites, and hippurites are striking. Perhaps ammonites made way for higher cuttle-fish.

Believes hybrid origin of domestic dog would weaken objections to treating white man and negro as species. Are there not many reputed species among the Mammalia more closely related than these races?

Objects not to the term "selection" but to what CD assigns to it. It should not be confused with the "Creative power" behind variation and the "capacity of ascending in the scale of being".

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Sept 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 13–19
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2932A

To Edward Cresy   [19 October 1860]


Obliged for note of 16th.

Failed to enclose letter from Hofmann.

Will be glad to read A. S. Taylor’s work [On poisons in relation to medical jurisprudence and medicine, 2d ed. (1859)].

Daughter Henrietta still weak.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward Cresy, Jr
Date:  [19 Oct 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 143
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2933

From H. G. Bronn   13 [or 15] October 1860


Does not remember his criticisms of CD’s theory. Can CD locate them in book?

Criticises analogy between knowledge of electricity and knowledge of origin of life.

Explains A. E. Brehm’s concept of subspecies. Discusses subspecies of Certhia.

Author:  Heinrich Georg Bronn
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [13 or 15] Oct 1860
Classmark:  DAR 160.3: 317
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2934
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