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Letter 10546

Darwin, C. R. to Times, The

23 June 1876

Summary

Forwards for publication an article by Dr Richardson [apparently not published] showing the necessity of experiments on living animals. Hopes it will make women, “who from the tenderness of their hearts and from their profound ignorance are the most vehement opponents of all such experiments”, pause.

Transcription

sir

as every one who is capable of forming a sound judgment on the subject is convinced that the relief of human suffering in future depends chiefly on the progress of physiology, i hope that you will find space in your colums for the enclosed article by dr. richardson, which has just appeared in “nature”.f2 the article shews in a practical manner, and more conclusively than anything that has been published elsewhere, the necessity of experiments on living animals. women, who from the tenderness of their hearts and from their profound ignorance are the most vehement opponents of all such experiments, will i hope pause when they learn that a fewf3 such experiments performed under the influence of anaesthetics, have saved and will save through all future time, thousands of women from a dreadful and lingering death. it is humiliating to reflect that those to whom mankind owe the deepest debt of gratitude should now be overwhelmed by falsehood and calumny

i am, sir, | your obedient servant | Charles Darwin

Down, Beckenham

June 23rd. 1876.

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin (The Times (London, England) collection)

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Footnotes

f1
The editor of The Times was John Thadeus Delane. This letter was written on a printing machine that only printed capitals, with manuscript alterations not in CD’s hand.
f2
Benjamin Ward Richardson’s report on animal experimentation was published in Nature on 15, 22, and 29 June 1876 (Richardson 1876). It was not republished in The Times. ‘Article’ has been interlined before ‘letter’, deleted. nature has been underlined by hand, and the quotation marks were added by hand.
f3
Interlined above ‘dozen’, deleted.
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