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Letter 360A

Darwin, C. R. to Beaufort, Francis

16 June 1837

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    CD wants to request the assistance of Government to support the expense of the numerous engravings necessary for the publication of the results of the extensive collections in various departments of Natural History during the Beagle voyage. To what quarter should he apply?


June 16th 1837

My dear Sir

Having accompanied, as you are aware, Captain FitzRoy round the world, I have been enabled during the five years to make extensive collections in the various departments of Natural History. Several scientific gentlemen having examined them, are of opinion that the results should be published; but finding myself unable to support the expense of the numerous engravings, which would be necessary, I have ventured to hope for the assistance of Government, in a similar manner to that afforded to Sir J. Franklin, Dr Richardson and to others, so as to be enabled to produce a work, which would be creditable to the country. I am emboldened to trust that this request will not at least be thought presumptious, more especially, when I state that the entire expense, even to the purchase of materials for the preservation of the specimens, together with a salary for an assistant has been willingly defrayed by myself. I may add that the whole collection has already been, or will hereafter be distributed to the public museums, where they will be of acknowledged service. I have subjoined the opinion of the Presidents of the three Learned Societies, respecting the utility of this publication, if illustrated by engravings, and any assistance, which Government might afford, should exclusively be employed on the new and undescribed species. Other naturalists and myself are of opinion that 150 plates are necessary, and that the expense of drawing and engraving would amount to about a thousand pounds, but required only by instalments during a year and a half. Pray tell me to what quarter I should apply, and | Believe me, dear Sir | Yours most truly obliged | Chas. Darwin
36 Grt Marlborough Stt


Being fully impressed with the importance and novelty of the collections in Natural History brought home by Mr Darwin in H.M.S Beagle, we are of opinion that their publication on some uniform plan, illustrated by engravings, would be highly advantageous to Natural Science.

Somerset | Derby | W. Whewell

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 360a.f1
    The text is written in Syms Covington's hand.
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    f2 360a.f2
    The Duke of Somerset, Lord Derby, and William Whewell were, respectively, the Presidents of the Linnean, Zoological, and Geological Societies.
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