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From E. L. Layard   [September–October 1856]



Preference of stallions for hybrid mares.

Author:  Edgar Leopold Layard
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Sept–Oct 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 83: 185–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1897

To John Lubbock   5 September [1856]


Quotes passage from [Frédéric?] Gerard on distribution of certain Lepidoptera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  5 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 9 (EH 88206458)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1949

To J. D. Hooker   8 September [1856]



Whether or not there should be movement of particles according to Tyndall’s theory of glacial action ["Observations on glaciers", Not. Proc. R. Inst. G. B. 2: 54–8, 441–3].

CD subscribes to H. C. Sorby’s view of gneiss [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 55 (1853): 137–50].



Significant differences in skeletons of domesticated rabbits.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 176
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1950

From J. D. Dana   8 September 1856


Responds to CD’s query about the blind fauna of Mammoth Cave.

Gives information from L. Agassiz. Distribution of Crustacea, especially along southern coastlines.

Author:  James Dwight Dana
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Sept 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 269 (Letters), DAR 162: 38
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1951

To Joseph Augustin Hubert de Bosquet   9 September [1856]


On JAHdeB’s discovery of Cretaceous Chthamalus. Cites his own acceptance of negative evidence about Chthamali in Fossil Lepadidae.

Comments on JAHdeB’s cirripede drawings.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Augustin Hubert de Bosquet
Date:  9 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.138)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1952

From Peter Wallace   10 September 1856



Reports on the naturalised animal life of Ascension.

Author:  Peter Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Sept 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 261
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1953

To Laurence Edmondston   11 September [1856]


Requests observations on pigeons.

Knew LE’s son [Thomas] and deplores his fate [accidental death in 1846].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Laurence Edmondston
Date:  11 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  L. D. Edmondston (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1954

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [18 September 1856]


CD concerned with rabbits and ducks because evidence of their single origin is "better … than in most cases".

Death of William Yarrell.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [18 Sept 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1955

From Victor de Robillard    20 September 1856



C. T. Beke has communicated to the Mauritius Natural History Society a letter he received from CD. VdeR attempts to answer questions on transport of seeds by the ocean.

Author:  Victor de Robillard
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Sept 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 286
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1956

To W. B. Tegetmeier   21 September [1856]


States his requirements with regard to pigeons and his interest in ducks and rabbits. Inquires about poultry seen at Leith Hill.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  21 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1957

To Philip Henry Gosse   22 September [1856]


CD is working hard on variations.

Asks if PHG’s bald-pate pigeon [described in A naturalist’s sojourn in Jamaica (1851)] is a true rock-pigeon.

Can he obtain a specimen of the rabbits that have run wild, and a wild canary, and the body of any domestic or fancy pigeon which has been in the West Indies for some generations?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Gosse
Date:  22 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1958

From Asa Gray   23 September 1856


Plants that are social in the U. S. but are not so in the Old World.

Distribution of U. S. species common to Europe.

Gives Theodor Engelmann’s opinion on the relative variability of indigenous and introduced plants and notes the effects of man’s settlement on the numbers and distribution of indigenous plants.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Sept 1856
Classmark:  DAR 165: 94
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1959

To John Lubbock   23 September [1856]


Sends review by Quatrefages [de Bréau] of Owen’s Parthenogenesis [1849].

J. D. Dana’s congratulations on JL’s marriage.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  23 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 283: 12 (EH 88206461)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1960

To P. H. Gosse   28 September 1856


Thanks PHG for information about the bald-pate pigeon.

Will write to Richard Hill.

Can PHG remember any facts relevant to transport of animals and plants to distant islands?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Gosse
Date:  28 Sept 1856
Classmark:  This text: Gosse, E. W. 1890: 267; original: The British Library (Charnwood Autographs Vol. IV Add MS 70951: 316)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1962

To J. D. Hooker   28 September [1856]



Will send MS on one point of geographical distribution. It is "of infinite importance" that JDH see it, for CD has never felt such difficulty in deciding what to do.

Wants capsules of aquatic plants, to float in sea-water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  28 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 177
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1963

To J. D. Dana   29 September [1856]


Thanks JDD for replies to queries [in 1925]; would like to know whether teeth of cave rat are of New or Old World type.

Wishes Louis Agassiz would publish his theory of parallels of geological and embryological development. "I wish to believe but have not seen nearly enough as yet to make me a disciple."

Is working hard on variations and origin of species, but fears it will be a couple of years before he publishes.

Describes his recent work on rabbits and pigeons.

The dispersal of land Mollusca is a most difficult problem.

Confesses he is sceptical of immutability of species; discusses difficulty of proving it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  29 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1964

To W. B. Tegetmeier   28 [September 1856]


Specifies pigeons in which he is interested. Has become almost more interested in rabbits than anything else.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  28 [Sept 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2068

To George Varenne Reed   8 September [1856]


George is not so low at school as CD anticipated. He keeps at the top of his class, thanks to GVR’s labours.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Varenne Reed
Date:  8 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  Buckinghamshire Record Office (D22/39/1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2139
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