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Letter 1947

Darwin, C. R. to Tegetmeier, W. B.

30 Aug [1856]

    Summary Add

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    Will forward the Scandaroons.

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    Is crossing all his pigeons to see which are fertile.

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    Hopes WBT's work on fowls' skulls is not forestalled by T. C. Eyton who also has a grand collection of skeletons.

Transcription

Down Bromley Kent

Augst 30th

My dear Sir

I received the Victoria Runt all safe & fresh, & very much obliged I am for it.— I did not write to thank you for it, as I knew I shd have to write soon about the Scanderoons. They left the nest a few days ago, & I will send them off on Wednesday night the 10th, so that they will arrive about 10 oclock on Thursday 11th

Many thanks for your offer of dead Turbits & Trumpeters, but I have both.— If you want any other kinds, (alive) please tell me that I may see whether I can supply you.— But I may be prevented as I am crossing all my kinds to see whether crosses are fertile & for the fun of seeing what sort of creatures appear.— I much doubt, indeed disbelieve, that there can be any general law about colours &c for different species, even if there be for varieties of same species. A Mr Orton has lately published some lectures with old theory of externals following males & internals female.—

I fear (but do not know) that both Laughers are males: The one has shed very many of its dark feathers & is much whiter now.— That is a curious remark of yours about pencilling appearing in cross-bred fowls.— How gets on your paper on Fowl's skulls? I ask because this morning I had a letter from Mr Eyton of Eyton, who has grand collection of skeletons of Birds (& who has published on pig's skeletons) & he says he has been making skeletons of Hamburgh & Dorking & “will send me some notes”. I mention this that you may not be forestalled. I did not know that he was at work on Poultry; though I knew he was on dogs. I wrote to Mr Adkins & had a very obliging answer but no accurate information.—

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

Do you ever see Mr Gulliver; if so I wish you wd say how glad to shd be to have one of his gigantic Runts dead.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1947.f1
    Dated by CD's reference to having received a letter from Thomas Campbell Eyton, presumably the same one as referred to in the letter to Eyton, 31 August [1856], and by the relationship to the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 23 August [1856].
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    f2 1947.f2
    See letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 23 August [1856].
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    f3 1947.f3
    Reginald Orton's Physiology of breeding (Orton 1855) is cited in Variation 1: 404 n. 138. CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
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    f4 1947.f4
    Tegetmeier 1856.
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    f5 1947.f5
    Possibly the breeder who had exhibited blue pigeons with bars on their wings, about whom CD had inquired in his letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 14 August [1856].
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    f6 1947.f6
    See letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 24 June [1856].
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