skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   9 September [1867]1


Sepr. 9th.

My Dear Father,

Unless you like Indian Railway Stock guaranteed 5 per Cent by Indian Govt. (of which Great Indian Peninsular Ry. now pays 6 per cent, & is regularly rising in value every half year).2 I should recommend what is called “Indian Enfaced Rupee paper” 512 per cent at about 109, which is an Indian Govt. Loan, and is thought very well of; Indian Bonds are the same sort of thing, but have not a permanent rate of interest, for instance they now have reduced them to 4 per Cent, & if money continues as cheap as at present they probably will reduce to 3 per Cent.

I should prefer G. Indian Peninsular Ry. Stock, as the guarantee is just the same, & the only difference in security between that & the Rupee paper Loans is that if the Railways all got smashed up in a rising; & the Govt. still held on, they would pay the interest on their own loans before the Guaranteed R. Interest.

If you do not like India, the next best investments of a safe kind are such things as Victoria Govt. or Cape of Good Hope Govt. Bonds paying about 5 Per Cent; but they do not obey Uncle Langton’s rule as a remedy for the decreasing value of gold, namely a guaranteed interest & share of extra profits.3

I went over last week to the opening of the Blackmore Museum at Salisbury, it is a most splendid collection of Antiquity of Man relics given together with the building to Salisbury, I dare say you have heard of it.4

Mr Blackmore is a friend of a Mr Lumbe at whose house at Buenos Ayres you stayed, & it was a funny chance that just two days before I saw Mr Blackmore he had received a letter from Mr Lumbe enclosing an old one of yours written from the Beagle.5 Mr Lumbe gives an account of a gigantic fossil Man, & he is going to send full particulars to Blackmore who will forward them to you.

Your affect son WED.


The year is established by the reference to the opening of the Blackmore Museum, which took place on 5 September 1867 (The Times, 7 September 1867, p. 6).
Indian railways were being built by private companies, but the Indian government guaranteed to make up any shortfall in interest payments to shareholders (Sunderland 2013, p. 116). Dividends were paid by the Bank of England, and the paper could be bought and sold on the London Stock Exchange (ibid., pp. 72–3).
Charles Langton. Victoria (Australia) and Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) government bonds were colonial government securities.
William Henry Blackmore founded the Blackmore Museum to house relics of the mound culture of the Mississippi and Ohio Valley in North America; the exhibition documented the discovery in Peebles, Ohio, of Serpent Mound, the world’s largest prehistoric effigy (Snodgrass 2015, p. 98).
For CD’s correspondence with Edward Lumb, see Correspondence vol. 1. Only one letter from Lumb to CD has been found and it is in Buenos Aires.


Suggests investments for CD;

discusses the opening of the Blackmore Museum, Salisbury;

mentions Edward Lumb of Buenos Aires, with whom CD stayed in Argentina.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 30)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4609F,” accessed on 2 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)