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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
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