Urges JSH to describe Galapagos species in a paper on the flora of the islands.
Has been interested in geographical distribution and would be interested to have a paper by JSH on the general character of flora of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia.
"I keep on steadily collecting every sort of fact which may throw light on the origin & variation of species."
12 Upper Gower St
My dear Henslow
I take opportunity of M
I am delighted to hear you have taken some of my plants with you to Hitcham.—
I believe you have received a message I sent you saying that Humboldt in a letter to Me
expresses at great length his vivid
regret that M. Henslow has not been able to describe the species, or
even characterize the genera of the very curious collection of plants from
Galapagos.— Do think once again of making one paper
on the Flora of these islands—like Roxburgh on St. Helena, or Endlicher on Norfolk
I have been lately reading some remarks on the geograph. distrib. of plants & I am very curious to have a paper at some time from you on the general character of the Flora of T. del. Fuego & especially of the Alpine Flora<.> The one point of land, which projects so far into temper<ate> countries ought to be characterized by very peculiar forms in relation to the northern hemisphere.— Robert Brown has a very large & I believe perfect collection from Tierra del Fuego, which I daresay he would allow you to undertake, if you chose, as it has been in his possession about nine years.— I do not believe, anyone has published any general account of the Flora of Patagonia,—small as my collection is,—it gives I am sure a very fair notion of the Flora—& the climate being so peculiar, I cannot fancy anything more remarkable than the contrasts of its Flora with that of Tierra del Fuego, countries so near to each other.— Do think of these points.—
I have written to D
My wife sends her kind regards to you— we shall always be most happy to see you here, & the oftener the better & we hope some time to accept your kind invitation for Hitcham.
Good Bye | My dear Henslow | Ever yours | Chas. Darwin
- f1 543.f1See letter from Alexander von Humboldt, 18 September 1839.
- f2 543.f2In Beatson 1816.
- f3 543.f3Endlicher 1833. The volume is preserved in Darwin's Library at Down House. Norfolk Island, in the Pacific, is about 800 miles east of New South Wales.
- f4 543.f4By this time Henslow had described only two new species of Galápagos Opuntia (Henslow 1837a). He never undertook the work CD refers to but turned the specimens over to Joseph Dalton Hooker, who published an enumeration of Galápagos plants (J. D. Hooker 1845) and a discussion of their geographical distribution (J. D. Hooker 1846).
- f5 543.f5Dr Colchester has not been identified.
- f6 543.f6See Correspondence vol. 2 Appendix V for the text of these questions. Answers to CD's questionnaire were sent from Richard Sutton Ford, 6 May 1839, and from George Tollet, [10 May 1839]. See also Freeman and Gautrey 1969.