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CD memorandum   [December 1855]

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Summary

Requests skins of domestic breeds or races of poultry, pigeons, rabbits, cats, and dogs from any unfrequented region. [Attached is a list of people to whom CD has written for pigeon and poultry skins.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  [Dec 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 206: 34–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1812

To ?   7 December [1855–7?]

Summary

Concerning specimens he wants collected in the Azores.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  7 Dec [1855-7]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 93 (photocopy)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13867A

To H. N. Shaw, Secretary, Royal Geographical Society   25 December [1855]

Summary

Has followed correspondent’s useful suggestions of sources of information [on variation in domesticated animals in various regions of the globe].

Asks him to sound out [Mr Consul Brand?] about skinning some bird specimens for him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Norton Shaw
Date:  25 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  Royal Geographical Society
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1800

To J. S. Henslow   26 December [1855]

Summary

Sends a book on clubs, which has raised some worrisome questions about the [Down Friendly] Club. Asks JSH’s advice.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  26 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A48–A49
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1801

To George Gulliver   27 December [1855]

Summary

His thanks for the present [The works of William Hewson, edited by GG, 1846]. [See 1796.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gulliver
Date:  27 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  Josh B. Rosenblum (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1801A

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 29 December 1855]

Summary

Cites [from Gärtner’s Bastarderzeugung (1849), p. 157] a report that seeds from graves of ancient Gauls germinated.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 29 Dec 1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 52, 29 December 1855, p. 854
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1802

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 29 December 1855]

Summary

CD requests accurate information on the extent to which the different varieties of fruit-trees produce seedlings like their parents. Do some varieties of pears and apples tend to produce truer offspring than other varieties?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 29 Dec 1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 52, 29 December 1855, p. 854
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1803

From Edward Blyth   [22 October 1855]

Summary

Gives references to William Allen’s narrative of the Niger expedition [William Allen and T. R. H. Thompson , A narrative of the expedition sent by Her Majesty’s Government to the river Niger in 1841 (1848)]: common fowl returning to wildness, details of domestic sheep, ducks, and white fowl.

Range of the fallow deer; its affinity to the Barbary stag.

Natural propensity of donkeys for arid desert.

Indian donkeys often have zebra markings on the legs.

Believes the common domestic cat of India is indigenous.

Occurrence of cultivated plants from Europe in India; success of cultivation. Ancient history of cultivated plants.

[CD’s notes are an abstract of this memorandum and indicate that it was originally 20 pages long.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [22 Oct 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A93–A98
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1811

To John Lubbock   14 [July 1855]

Summary

CD has more specimens of Helix pomatia.

Thanks for Lepidoptera book.

Invites JL to dinner.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  14 [July 1855]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.621)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1831

To William Henry Benson   7 December [1855]

Summary

Discusses distribution of shells.

"Dr Gully did me much good." Hopes WHB profited by water cure.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Henry Benson
Date:  7 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 143: 89
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4354

From Robert Hunt   24 July 1855

Summary

Informs CD which colours of glass accelerate germination, lignification, and floriation; advises CD on obtaining such glass and offers his help in any experiments.

Author:  Robert Hunt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 July 1855
Classmark:  DAR 261.11: 18
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1730

To J. D. Hooker   28 [July 1855]

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Summary

Praise for JDH’s Flora Indica [J. D. Hooker and T. Thomson (1855)] from CD and C. J. F. Bunbury.

CD and J. S. Henslow dining in London. JDH invited.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  28 [July 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 143a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1731

To J. S. Henslow   28 July [1855]

Summary

Delighted JSH can dine. Has invited Hooker.

Thanks him for Lychnis seed.

Asks for umbel of wild celery. Wants to ascertain whether wild or tame plants produce most seed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  28 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A43–A44
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1732

To W. D. Fox   31 July [1855]

Summary

Has received the duck and bantam.

Anxious to get as many facts as possible on crossbreeding of dogs.

Reports on seeds that have germinated after 100 days immersion [in salt water].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  31 July [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 65)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1733

To Robert Hunt   31 July [1855]

Summary

Mentions experiments on plants involving coloured glass. Encloses correspondence from glass maker and asks advice.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Hunt
Date:  31 July [1855]
Classmark:  Bonhams (dealers) (28 September 2004)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1734

From Edward Blyth   4 August 1855

Summary

Sends a skeleton of a Bengal jungle cock.

Has never heard of trained otters breeding in captivity.

Introduced domestic rabbits are confined to the ports of India.

Canaries and other tame finches and thrushes brought into India do not breed well.

Origin of the domestic canary. Tendency of domesticated birds to produce "top-knot" varieties.

The tame geese of lower Bengal are hybrids; those of upper Bengal are said to be pure Anser cygnoides.

Wild Anser cinereus occur in flocks in the cold season.

Discusses at length different breeds of domestic cats and possible wild progenitors. Wild and domestic cats occasionally interbreed. The Angora variety breeds freely with the common Bengal cat and all stages of intermediates can be found.

Believes pigeons have been bred in India since remote antiquity.

Discusses whether mankind is divided into races or distinct species.

[CD’s notes are an abstract of this letter.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Aug 1855
Classmark:  DAR 98: A69–A78
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1735

To J. D. Hooker   9 [December 1855]

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Summary

Burying charlock seeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  9 [Dec 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 143
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1736

To J. D. Hooker   10 August [1855]

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Summary

Morning with H. C. Watson; discussed problems of inferences from buried seeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  10 Aug [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 144
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1737

To J. D. Hooker   11 August [1855]

Summary

Has left a book from Henslow for JDH at Athenaeum.

When Asa Gray wrote, did he send marked sheets [of his Manual of botany]?

Has just made out "new & wonderful" specific character between two of his pigeon breeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  11 Aug [1855]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Directors’ Correspondence DC/35/129)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1738

From John Cattell   13 August 1855

Summary

Gives names of German dealers who provide seed of superior quality.

Author:  John Cattell
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Aug 1855
Classmark:  DAR 161: 127
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1739
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