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CD memorandum   July 1857


Memorandum about £250 investment in Patent Siliceous Stone Company, owned by David Thomas Ansted and Frederick Ransome.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  unknown
Date:  July 1857
Classmark:  DAR 210.10: 23
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2115F

From James Tenant   23 April 1857



Fish will take both sorts of seeds sent by CD, but will not take oats.

Author:  James Tenant
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 258
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2081

To P. H. Gosse   27 April [1857]


Asks PHG to conduct an experiment to see if young littoral molluscs will cling to a duck’s foot – CD seeks to explain distribution of molluscs without adopting E. Forbes’s [continental extension] theory.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Gosse
Date:  27 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Leeds University Library Special Collections (Brotherton Collection: Gosse Correspondence)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2082

From J. D. Dana   27 April 1857


In reply to CD’s query [see 2072], JDD describes what little is known about the crustacea of the Antarctic and southern lands.

Knows of no species of the cold temperate south identical with those of the cold temperate north.

Author:  James Dwight Dana
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 162: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2083

To J. D. Hooker   [29 April 1857]



Curative power of hydropathy.

General hairiness of alpine plants questioned: direct environmental effect.

CD has long felt JDH is too hard on bad observers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [29 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 194
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2084

To W. D. Fox   [30 April 1857]


His impressions of the hydropathic establishment and E. W. Lane. Is convinced the only thing for "chronic cases" is the water-cure.

Asks if WDF knows of any breed of pig that originated or was modified by a cross with a Chinese or Neapolitan pig, and whether the crossbreed bred true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [30 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 103)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2085

To Alfred Russel Wallace   1 May 1857


Reports long preparation of work on how species and varieties differ. Agreement with Wallace’s conclusions as reported in Annals and Magazine of Natural History and in his letter to CD of 10 0ct [1856]. On distinction between domestic varieties and those in "a state of nature".

On mating of jaguars and leopards, the breeding of poultry, pigeons, etc.

Requests help for his experimenting on means of distribution of organic beings on oceanic islands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  1 May 1857
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2086

To J. D. Hooker   [2 May 1857]



JDH has shaved the hair off the alpine plant.

CD apologises for his criticism.

Apparent but false relations of plant structure to climate: heath-like foliage of all Cape of Good Hope plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [2 May 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 195
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2087

To J. D. Hooker   [3 May 1857]



JDH’s last letter demolishes woolly alpine plant theory.

Correlation of apetalous flowers and cold climate.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [3 May 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 196
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2088

To Asa Gray   9 May [1857]


Thanks for new part of "Statistics".

Interested in disjoined species; do they tend to belong to large or small genera, and are they generally members of small families?

Is glad AG will tackle introduced plants; has noticed that the proportion of a particular family to the whole flora tends to be similar in introduced and indigenous plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  9 May [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2089

To W. B. Tegetmeier   12 [May 1857]


Accepts a dozen eggs of rumpless Polands. Having so many enables him to see whether the breed "comes true".

Asks what colour turbits have dark tails – "it is just the class of facts which interest me".

Do fowls when crossed throw odd and unexpected colours like pigeons?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  12 [May 1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2090

To W. E. Darwin   13 May [1857]


Discusses family health and affairs.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  13 May [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 15
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2091

To J. D. Hooker   16 [May 1857]



Asks JDH’s opinion, and botanical evidence, on important law: parts that are highly developed in comparison to other allied species are very variable.

Interest in hairiness of alpine plants revived by reading A. Moquin-Tandon [Éléments de tératologie végétale (1841)]; correlation with dryness. CD seeks interpretation independent of direct environmental effect.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  16 [May 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 197
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2092

To W. B. Tegetmeier   18 May [1857]


Lists pigeons and poultry he is forwarding to WBT.

Wants details of WBT’s Poultry book [1856–7]

and is anxious to purchase his long-winged runt.

Thanks him for help and information on fowl crosses.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  18 May [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2093

To William Sharpey   22 May [1857]


Agrees with Thomas Henry Huxley that Albany Hancock has a good claim on a Royal Society medal. Thinks that geology has not been sufficiently honoured by the Royal Society, and suggests Joseph Prestwich. Expresses his strong opinion that Charles Lyell would be a worthy recipient of the Copley Medal.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Sharpey
Date:  22 May [1857]
Classmark:  D. and E. Lake Ltd (dealers) (June 2016)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2093F

To J. D. Dana   25 May [1857]


Thanks him for information concerning Crustacea.

Comments on natural history study in the U. S.

Mentions work done by Huxley on Crustacea ["Description of a new crustacean", J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 13 (1857): 363–9];

John Lubbock on larvae of Diptera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  25 May [1857]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Silliman Family Papers (MS 450) Box 19, folder 25)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2094

To W. E. Darwin   [November 1857]


Is trying to find a tutor for WED.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [Nov 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2095

From James Hunt   [before 29 December 1857]


Birds that have been hybridised.

Author:  James Hunt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 29 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 166: 281
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2096

To W. E. Darwin   21 [July 1857]


Writes of WED’s recent excursion to Manchester and his future educational plans.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  21 [July 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 16
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2097

From Asa Gray   1 June 1857



Comments on species with disjoined ranges; does not feel, despite CD’s expectations, that they tend to belong to small families.

Gives the proportion of U. S. trees in which the sexes are separate [see Natural selection, p. 62].

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 June 1857
Classmark:  DAR 8: 47bA
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2098
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