On H. A. Dubois' attack on "Darwin, Huxley and Lyell"
and H. J. Clark's Mind in nature .
BDW's work [on Cynipidae].
Rock Island, Ill. U.S. July 17, 1866
Chas. Darwin Esq.
My dear Sir,
I sent you by mail last week a short paper of mine exposing some misquotations of Prof. Dana's, which I hope you have received.
I received in due course your welcome letter of April 20, & was
rejoiced to find that you were preparing a new Edition of the Origin. As you are kind enough to promise me a copy, please forward it to me through
Baillière 219 Regent S
I had a copy sent me the other day of an ``Analysis of Darwin Huxley & Lyell,
by Henry A. Dubois of New York'' being a reprint in pamphlet form from the
``American Quarterly Church Review'', which by the way I never heard of before. The writer is a beautiful compound of fool & knave &
makes some most ludicrous blunders in Natural History; besides accusing you of setting
up a new God—yes, a real, personal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent
God—called ``Natural Selection''. Hence, one would infer
that you must be a Deist. But when he comes to attack Huxley, he talks of ``the
atheistical views embraced in Darwin's hypothesis''; so that you must be Deist &
Atheist both at the same time. ``Throw plenty of mud, & some
of it is sure to stick''. My correspondent (W
I believe I have done some little good, at all events among N.A. entomologists, in the way of converting them to the true philosophical faith on the origin of species. For I find a great many of them now who take much the same ground as Rev. Herbert, but cannot as yet ``go the whole hog'', as we say out West.
Have you read Clark's book on ``Mind in Nature''? He strikes me as having almost as illogical a mind as Prof. Agassiz. From one end to the other of the Book I don't see a single new fact or new argument to carry out his thesis, namely that ``Mind'' exists in Nature. But, so far as I am a judge, his original investigations seem very valuable. I never knew before the history of Agassiz's treatment of him. It always puzzled me why there was no titlepage to the two first parts of the ``Contributions'', but now I fully understand the why & the wherefore.
You mentioned some time ago the case of a foreign gall-fly having suddenly spread over England. Was it not a species that made its gall on the leaf, so that leaf & gall together might be blown great distances by the wind? I have often remarked that our ``Oak-apples'' are carried by the wind hundreds of yards with the living insect in them; but the species that make their galls in the twig, so that they are part & parcel of the twig itself, infest the same tree year after year, without spreading, except very slowly indeed sometimes, to adjoining trees.
I find that my Paper on Dimorphism in Cynips was reviewed by
I have the concluding part of my Willow Gall Paper now ready for the press. There are some facts in it respecting Galls that I think will please you, showing that Gall-making insects must have originated according to your theory. In the autumn I shall probably throw together the facts respecting Dimorphism in Cynips, which I have been accumulating now for two years.
I discovered this morning that a pale green fleshy gall on the leaf of the Grape-vine,
which had been described by D
& globular, & occurs very abundantly, some leaves being almost covered with them. Inside there is a true wingless Coccus with a parcel of eggs—say 100—many of which are already hatched out—& no powdery or cottony matter among the young lice, as is always the case with the young plant-lice in galls. Besides, eggs are never found in Aphidian galls, the mother-louse generating viviparously. I wonder if you have any such galls in England.
Yours very truly | Benj. D. Walsh
- f1 5159.f1Walsh refers to his article on James Dwight Dana (Walsh 1866c) and to Dana's article (Dana 1866). Walsh had previously criticised Dana's theory of classification in Walsh 1864a, pp. 238--49.
- f2 5159.f2In his letter to Walsh of  April , CD remarked that he was preparing a fourth edition of Origin. Walsh's name is on the presentation list for the book (see Correspondence vol. 14, Appendix IV).
- f3 5159.f3The French bookselling and publishing firm of Hippolyte Baillière had offices at 219 Regent Street, London, and 290 Broadway, New York (Baillière 1853, Post Office London directory 1866).
- f4 5159.f4Walsh refers to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
- f5 5159.f5See letter from B. D. Walsh, 13 March 1866 and n. 8, and letter to B. D. Walsh,  April  and n. 5.
- f6 5159.f6The eponymous hero of Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist (Dickens 1838), asked for more gruel after three months in the workhouse.
- f7 5159.f7Walsh refers to `The origin and antiquity of man: Darwin, Huxley and Lyell' by Henry Augustus Dubois. The three-part article was published anonymously in the 1865 volume of American Quarterly Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register ([Dubois] 1865), and evidently issued as an offprint under the author's name.
- f8 5159.f8Dubois claimed that in Origin, CD had defined natural selection as a `blind and materialistic' force, but that `with singular inconsistency' he had invested `physical agents with the attributes of a provident Deity' ([Dubois] 1865, pp. 174, 190). For a discussion of similar criticisms of Origin, see the letter from A. R. Wallace, 2 July 1866 and nn. 2 and 3.
- f9 5159.f9Dubois claimed that in Man's place in nature (T. H. Huxley 1863a), Thomas Henry Huxley sought `to disseminate the atheistical views embraced in Darwin's hypothesis' ([Dubois] 1865, p. 337).
- f10 5159.f10Walsh refers to William Henry Edwards.
- f11 5159.f11A variation of the expression `The game is not worth the candle'.
- f12 5159.f12On Walsh's enthusiastic support of CD's theory, see Walsh 1864d, Correspondence vol. 12, letter from B. D. Walsh, 7 November 1864, and Sorensen 1995.
- f13 5159.f13CD discussed William Herbert's work on plant hybridisation in Origin, pp. 246--51, and added a summary of his view on species in the historical sketch in Origin 3d ed., p. xiv: `the Dean believes that single species of each genus were created in an originally highly plastic condition, and that these have produced, chiefly by intercrossing, but likewise by variation, all our existing species'. For other remarks by CD on Herbert, see the letter to George Henslow, 15 [June 1866] and nn. 6--8.
- f14 5159.f14Walsh refers to Mind in nature: or, the origin of life, and the mode of development of animals by Henry James Clark, a former student and assistant of Louis Agassiz at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Clark defended spontaneous generation on the grounds that it allowed for the continuous operation of `the Creator's controlling hand' (H. J. Clark 1865, pp. 28--9), and concluded, `Thus it appears that there is a plainly visible, intelligent, controlling power, which is manifested, with unvarying regularity of character, in each of the five groups of animals' (ibid., p. 314). CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Library--Down (see Marginalia 1: 166--7). He cited H. J. Clark 1865 on the close relationship between reproduction by self-division and budding in his chapter on pangenesis in Variation 2: 358--9.
- f15 5159.f15Clark had been employed by Agassiz in 1855 to assist him in the preparation of Contributions to the natural history of the United States of America. The four-volume work appeared with Agassiz as the sole author (J. L. R. Agassiz 1857--62), although Clark had performed much of the microscopical and embryological research and had written substantial portions of the sections on jellyfish. A dispute arose between the men, partly over Clark's efforts to gain acknowledgment as an independent author. Clark circulated a statement of his case against Agassiz to zoologists and scientific societies in America and Europe, and reiterated his claim in H. J. Clark 1865, pp. 37--8 n. For an account of the dispute, see Winsor 1991, pp. 47--65.
- f16 5159.f16CD had reported that a new gall had recently appeared in England and spread rapidly (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to B. D. Walsh, 19 December  and n. 3).
- f17 5159.f17Walsh's paper, `On dimorphism in the hymenopterous genus Cynips' (Walsh 1864c), was reviewed by Hermann Reinhard in Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift (Reinhard 1865). CD's annotated copy of Walsh's paper is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL. Walsh had argued that the gall insect Cynips quercus aciculata was a dimorphic female form of C. q. spongifica (Walsh 1864c, pp. 447--8). See also Correspondence vol. 12. Reinhard has not been further identified.
- f18 5159.f18See Reinhard 1865, p. 9.
- f19 5159.f19Walsh gave a similar account of his research on Cynips, noting the analogy with reproduction in Aphis, in his letter to CD of 12 November 1865 (Correspondence vol. 13).
- f20 5159.f20Walsh and CD had previously discussed reproduction by gemmation in Aphis and other species (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to B. D. Walsh, 19 December  and nn. 7 and 8).
- f21 5159.f21The reference is to Walsh 1866b. There is a heavily annotated copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL. Walsh had sent CD the first part of the paper the previous year (Walsh 1864b; see Correspondence vol. 13, letter from B. D. Walsh, 1 March 1865 and n. 14). Walsh remarked that the study of gall-making insects had important implications for the origin of species (Walsh 1866b, p. 274). In his concluding remarks, he stated that the distribution of gall insects among different genera was inexplicable according to `the Creative Theory'; he added: `if our modern species were genetically derived from pre-existing species, several new species being generated from one old one, and whole groups from time to time becoming extinct, the actual state of facts … is precisely that which we should … expect to meet with' (Walsh 1866b, pp. 287--8). The paper is cited in Variation 2: 282.
- f22 5159.f22Walsh described the gall insect in Walsh 1866b, pp. 283--4, noting that it had been wrongly classified by Asa Fitch within the genus of gall-forming aphids, Pemphigus, and claiming that it `must become the type of a new and very aberrant genus' of the family Coccidae (ibid., p. 284 n.).