Sends two letters from G. Lincecum about ants ("perhaps the most marvellous instinct ever recorded") for possible publication. [See Gideon Lincecum, "The habits of the ""agricultural ants"" of Texas", J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 6 (1862): 29–31.]
Down Bromley Kent
In last no
The only use of publishing such a paper in my estimation is that it might call some other observer's attention to the points.—
The whole letters are so odd that they are almost worth your reading,—such spelling,—such grammar! He evidently speaks the truth that he was never educated.—
You must use your own judgment whether to read,—I hardly know what to think.
Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
P.S. In reading the 1
- f1 3112.f1Dated by the reference to the letters from Gideon Lincecum (see n. 3, below).
- f2 3112.f2The March issue of the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 5 (1861): 217--18 carried an extract from a letter by Mrs Lewis Hutton giving an account of the habits of a species of Australian ant. Hutton described what she took to be an elaborate `burial ritual' for soldier ants conducted by about 200 ants from the same nest.
- f3 3112.f3Letters from Gideon Lincecum, 29 December 1860 (Correspondence vol. 8), and 4 March 1861. Busk was secretary of the Linnean Society of London.
- f4 3112.f4Kirby and Spence 1815--26, 2: 89--90.
- f5 3112.f5An abstract of Lincecum's letter of 29 December 1860 was read at a meeting of the Linnean Society on 18 April 1861 and published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Zoology) 6 (1862): 29--31. Busk omitted Lincecum's description of the `horticultural ant' given in the letter of 4 March 1861, stating that the account `appears to be identical with the ``Cutting Ant,'' œcidina nexucaba, Sm., described by Mr. S. B. Buckley' (ibid., p. 31). The reference is to Buckley 1860.