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Letter 2051

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

11 Feb [1857]

    Summary Add

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    CD is sending two pairs of Persian fowl, from Hon. C. Murray.

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    Thanks WBT for various offers: a drake, a young silk fowl, a rumpless chick.

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    The German pouters are not old-fashioned ones but fancy birds, probably crosses since they do not breed true.

Transcription

Down Bromley Kent

Feb. 11th

My dear Sir

The Bearer shall pay Carstang for the Drake & very many thanks to you for having got it for me.—

By all means show the Poultry; & I will this evening send to Carstang the 2 pair of Persian Fowls, sent to me by Hone C. Murray.—

I shall be very glad of the young Silk fowl, if you will kindly send it me, about 12 hours, before it breaks out of shells.— Also many thanks for your kind promise of the rumpless Chick.

I will not kill the Scanderoons; at least without giving you notice.—

The German Pouters which Mr Wicking gave me are not the old fashioned German Pouters, but fancy birds, crossed I imagine for they do not breed true.—

I am glad to hear that you are succeeding so well with your Pigeon Breeding.

With thanks, in Haste | Believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

I hope you may prove right that Mr B.' affairs are not so bad, as I supposed.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2051.f1
    Dated by the reference to Tegetmeier's wish to exhibit some of CD's poultry (see n. 2, below).
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    f2 2051.f2
    The account in the Athenæum (7 March 1857, p. 313) of the 24 February meeting of the Zoological Society of London stated that ‘Mr. Tegetmeier exhibited a portion of the collection of Asiatic poultry skins which has been entrusted to him by Mr. C. Darwin, with the view of illustrating the variations which take place in the domestic fowl. The collection contained some curious birds from Persia, India and Singapore, the peculiarities of which were successively pointed out by the exhibitor.’
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    f3 2051.f3
    Charles Augustus Murray was minister plenipotentiary to the court of Persia. The description of these fowl given in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 25 (1857): 46, stated: ‘The interior of Persia furnished a very beautiful steel-black variety, perfectly distinct from any known in this country, and which was stated to be the common Fowl of the district.’
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    f4 2051.f4
    See the postscript of CD's letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 6 February [1857]. CD obtained several different pigeon breeds from Matthew Wicking.
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