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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Asa Gray   26–7 February [1861]1

Down Bromley Kent

Feb. 26th

My dear Gray,

My Bankers told me that this was the only plan by which they could transmit the £7. s10. d0: I hope it will not be troublesome to you.2 Mess Trübner have been most liberal & kind, & say that they shall make no charge for all their trouble. I have settled about a few advertisements; & they will gratuitously insert one in their own periodical.3 If you have any opportunity, would it not be well to write & thank them? They say that 1s would be sufficient price, but as they nevertheless recommended 1s .6d, I have, of course agreed. I have distributed 100 copies to men of science & sent some to Reviewers, Libraries &c. I am heartily rejoiced at this. I believe your pamphlet will do me & Natural Selection, right good service. I think the Title very good,4 but I wish the type had been rather larger, yet this would have cost more. I have not reread it yet, but I see long new note on Heredity.5 The share of freit of Box was only 12s, & the advertisements will be a few pounds, for which I have told Trübner I am responsible; but I hope sale will cover this. Yet all tell me that pamphlets will not sell. By the way the 7.10.0 just covers cost of my 100 copies at 1s .6d each. If the pamphlet shd sell, I will inform you for chance of your being able to send over more. I wish heartily it would sell for my own sake & that some profit might be sent to you.—

Trübner informs me that in Box there was no M.S. bundle for me, (ie S. Wright’s Review). Tr. has written to Liverpool to enquire whether it could have been lost when Box was opened at Custom House.— I hope it is not lost.— Perhaps you addressed it to Williams & Norgate or to Prof. Huxley.—6

My dear Gray | Yours most sincerely | Chas. Darwin

Feb. 27th.—


Dated on the basis of an entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) on 25 February 1861 recording the sum mentioned in the letter.
The payment was CD’s share of the cost of printing 250 copies of Gray’s articles on Origin (A. Gray 1861a). See letter to Asa Gray, 17 February [1861].
The title of Gray’s pamphlet was ‘Natural selection not inconsistent with natural theology. A free examination of Darwin’s treatise “On the origin of species”, and of its American reviewers’. CD’s lightly annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
A. Gray 1861a, p. 52 n. The footnote was a response to Francis Bowen’s assertion, in Bowen 1861, that acquired habits were not heritable. Gray offered as support for CD’s opposing views a long quotation from his own review of Origin in the American Journal of Science and Arts (A. Gray 1860b, pp. 165–8).
CD refers to the manuscript of Chauncey Wright’s review of Origin. Gray was sending it to CD to be forwarded to Thomas Henry Huxley for possible publication in the Natural History Review, published by Williams and Norgate. See letter to T. H. Huxley, 17 February [1861].


Bowen, Francis. 1861. Observations of the supposed hereditability of peculiar traits of bodily and mental organization, and especially of mental disease. [Read 8 January 1861.] Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 5 (1860–2): 102–10.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Believes AG’s pamphlet will do natural selection "right good service".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Asa Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (57a)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3073,” accessed on 27 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9