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To John Scott   1 and 3 August [1863]


Thanks JS for orchid paper [Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh 7 (1863): 543–50]. JS presents excellent new facts on sterility of orchids.

His argument that coloured primroses are not hybrids is good, as is idea of discovering primrose parentage by breeding for colours.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  1 and 3 Aug 1863
Classmark:  DAR 93: B24, B27–8, B70; DAR 147: 455
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4260

To L. E. Becker   2 August [1863]


Thanks LEB for the Lychnis seed [see 4258], which he will plant in the hope of fertilising the little ovaria.

Comments on the two forms of Linum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Lydia Ernestine Becker
Date:  2 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Charterhouse Archives (ACC 013)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4260A

To J. D. Hooker   3 August [1863]



Tendril plants received.

Has just completed large crossing experiment with Lythrum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  3 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 201
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4261

To Asa Gray   4 August [1863]


Anticipated AG’s attitude on design in orchids. Does he not think that the variations that gave rise to fancy pigeon varieties were accidental?

Has been working hard at Lythrum

and spontaneous movements of tendrils.

Defends Drosera as a "sagacious animal" but does not know whether he will ever publish on it.

Comments on political situation in U. S.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  4 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (83)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4262

To Alphonse de Candolle   4 August [1863]


Asks AdeC to observe two species of Lythrum to see whether they are dimorphic as stated by Vaucher. CD can find no trace of this in dried specimens he has examined; "if either species present any difference in length of pistil and stamens, it is most likely that three forms should be presented".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alphonse de Candolle
Date:  4 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Archives de la famille de Candolle (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4263

From Julius von Haast   6 August 1863


Sends a map of the province of Canterbury, marking his own and other explorations.

Author:  John Francis Julius (Julius) von Haast
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Aug 1863
Classmark:  DAR 166: 5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4264

From Hermann Crüger   8 August 1863


Thanks for presentation copy of Linum paper [Collected papers 2: 93–105].

Ficus experiments confirm CD’s supposition that insects visit Melastoma for nectar, but HC thinks pollen-seekers fertilise the flowers.

Maranta fertilisation.

Author:  Hermann Crüger
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Aug 1863
Classmark:  DAR 161: 277, 277/1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4265

To J. D. Hooker   12–13 August [1863]



Doubts Decaisne’s report of larkspur self-fertilisation.

Enthusiastically observes climbing plants. Needs to know how novel his observations are. Finds R. J. H. Dutrochet has made similar observations, so he has wasted some time. [See Climbing plants, p. 1 n.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  12–13 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 202
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4266

To Charles Lyell   14 August [1863]


Congratulates CL on finding Arctic shells.

Comments on paper by E. B. Hunt ["On the origin, growth, substructure and chronology of the Florida reef", Am. J. Sci. 2d ser. 35 (1863): 197–210].

Mentions J. D. Dana’s health.

George Bentham’s statement on species [Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (1863): xi–xxix].

Praises Bates’s book [Naturalist on the river Amazons (1863)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  14 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.296)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4267

From Robert Swinhoe   14 August 1863



Sends two interesting cases: a flamingo with barnacles covering its legs

and castrated wild asses of Kutch.

Author:  Robert Swinhoe
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Aug 1863
Classmark:  DAR 205.2 (Letters): 253
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4268

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 15 August 1863]


Reports on the appearance, in a gravel walk near his house, of an orchid, Epipactis latifolia, never seen in his neighbourhood before. Asks whether a seed could have been blown from a distance and germinated during a season when the walk was neglected.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 15 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 15 August 1863, p. 773
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4269

To Thomas Rivers   17 August [1863]



The almond-tree TR gave him produced no fruit, but the Chinese double peach has three. Asks for ripe almond fruits and any odd peaches, to compare the stones.

Asks about modification in fruit or foliage in any fruit-trees from being grafted,

and about seedlings of pears and wheat said to have been found in hedges and woods.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Rivers
Date:  17 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 185: 85
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4270

From W. E. Darwin   21 August [1863]


Has signed and forwarded some orders.

Author:  William Erasmus Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Aug [1863?]
Classmark:  DAR 162: 95
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4271

From John Goodsir   21 August [1863]


Agrees to examine a slide preparation of fluid [from CD’s vomit] to determine presence of Sarcina as a possible cause of his stomach ailment. Sends some authoritative references on it. Warns CD that Sarcina has been found in healthy stomachs.

Author:  John Goodsir
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 73
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4272

From Hugh Falconer   24 August [1863]


Sends information about Pliocene fauna of the "Forest Bed" of the Norfolk coast.

A genus described as extinct by Owen is found by E. A. I. H. Lartet to exist in Russia.

Edouard Suess attributes to Oswald Heer and HF the generalisation "That the time during which a new species is formed, is (as a rule) very short in comparison with the time during which it persistently presents the same peculiar specific characters". [Edouard Suess, "Über die Verschiedenheit und die Aufeinanderfolge der tertiären Landfaunen in der Niederung von Wien", Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien (Math-naturw. Klasse) 47 (1863): 306–31.] [See 4277.]

Author:  Hugh Falconer
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 16
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4273A

To J. D. Hooker   25 [August 1863]



CD’s illness: he is vomiting "vegetable" cells.

Dutrochet has published the best of CD’s observations on tendrils [see Climbing plants, p. 1 n.].

Lyell has found Joshua Trimmer’s Arctic shells on Moel Tryfan.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  25 [Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 204
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4274

From J. D. Hooker   26 August 1863



JDH working on the New Zealand flora.

Jules Planchon excited about CD’s Linum experiments.

T. F. Jamieson’s paper on glaciers gives great pleasure.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Aug 1863
Classmark:  DAR 101: 157–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4275

From J. D. Hooker   [27 August 1863]



Suggests CD consult George Busk about his stomach.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [27 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 101: 156
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4276

To Hugh Falconer   [25–6 August 1863]


Thanks for information about Pliocene mammal. Interested in relating process of formation to duration of the species. Oswald Heer’s view that species suddenly formed surely false.

Bad summer with much sickness. Going to Malvern [for water-cure] for a month.

Muddled over phyllotaxy and made out nothing.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Hugh Falconer
Date:  [25–6 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 144: 32
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4277

From John Goodsir   27 August [1863]


Has found no Sarcina on the slides of fluid [see 4272] and nothing referable to the food. Will repeat examination if vomiting recurs.

Author:  John Goodsir
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 74
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4278
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