Thanks for information on expression.
Poor progress of civilisation in South Africa. CD's doubts and fears about democracy.
JPMW's views on glaciation in S. Africa will discredit him unless supported by clearest evidence.
Down Bromley | Kent
My dear Sir
I congratulate you sincerely on your marriage, & I hope you
will be happy & prosperous in your new life as a settler. I have
always thought that there was a great charm in a settler's life,
& much better for the children than to struggle in this thickly
packed country. I can well understand your regret at not soon
revisiting your home. If you had been now in England you w
I thank you very cordially for your fresh information upon expression. I am sorry to hear from you so poor an account of the progress of civilization in S. Africa; but I have heard in other places of the great want of practical sense in the missionaries. It is quite intelligible to me that the bad government which you see round you leads you to doubt much about democracy. I fear much for England, as we shall soon be an almost pure democracy.
I have heard nothing from Huxley as yet about the photograph of the Bushwoman; but I have received, together with your paper on the Bonatea, the striking photographs of many natives, but the scale is too small. I shall be glad to see your paper on the beautiful Orchis to which you refer; but so much has been published on the fertilization of these plants that I am doubtful whether any except very striking cases are worth publishing. Your belief in glacial action, unless it be supported by the clearest evidence will be disbelieved (if published) & will discredit you, as has lately occurred in the case of Brazil & Agassiz.
You speak of the glacial period in the S. hemisphere as not having
been severe; I do not know whether you have seen my paper published
years ago in Geolog. Trans. on this period in S. America, where I
think it must have been severe. If you send me your paper please to
inform me what I am to do with it. I cannot help you with respect to
the great African travellers, as from hardly ever leaving home owing
to ill health I know none of them. M
Your varied pursuits & tastes must make your life very interesting & I hope you will make many valuable discoveries in Nat. History
Believe me my dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
- f1 5795.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. P. M. Weale, [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15).
- f2 5795.f2Information about Weale's marriage was evidently in the missing portion of his letter of [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15). Weale's wife was Anna Edye.
- f3 5795.f3Charles Giles Bridle Daubeny, professor of botany at Oxford since 1834, had died in 1867.
- f4 5795.f4Weale had sent replies to CD's queries on expression of the emotions in his letter of [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15); see also ibid., letter from J. P. M. Weale, 7 July 1867.
- f5 5795.f5Weale had criticised missionary teaching in South Africa as ineffectual, remarking: `There is little or no attempt at inculcating by precept & habit either industry or economy' (Correspondence vol. 15, letter from J. P. M. Weale, [10 December 1867]). For CD's views on missionary work, based on his experiences on the Beagle voyage, see `A letter, containing remarks on the moral state of Tahiti, New Zealand, &c.' (Collected papers 1: 19--38). See also Journal of researches, pp. 493, 508, and Browne 1995, pp. 330--1.
- f6 5795.f6The 1867 Reform Act gave the vote to every male adult householder living in a borough constituency. Male lodgers paying £10 or more for unfurnished rooms were also granted the vote. (EB.)
- f7 5795.f7Information about the photograph may have been in the missing portion of the letter from J. P. M. Weale, [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15). Thomas Henry Huxley's anthropology and ethnology are discussed in Di Gregorio 1984, pp. 160--84. On Huxley's programme of anthropometric measurement utilising photography, see E. Edwards 1990.
- f8 5795.f8Weale had sent CD a paper on the orchid Bonatea, which CD had forwarded to the Linnean Society of London (Weale 1867; see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to J. P. M. Weale, 22 February ). The photographs have not been found in the Darwin Archive--CUL.
- f9 5795.f9The information on the orchid was in the missing portion of the letter from J. P. M. Weale, [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15). Darwin later communicated two papers by Weale on the pollination mechanisms of South African orchids to the Linnean Society (Weale 1870a and 1870b).
- f10 5795.f10Weale's comments about glacial action were in the missing portion of his letter of [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15). CD refers to Louis Agassiz and his claims to have found evidence of glaciation in the Amazon basin. CD and others had been highly critical of Agassiz's findings; see Correspondence vols. 14 and 15.
- f11 5795.f11CD refers to `Distribution of the erratic boulders', which was published in the Transactions of the Geological Society of London in 1842 (Collected papers 1: 143--63). CD summarised the evidence of glaciation in the southern hemisphere in Origin, p. 373. See also S. Herbert 2005, pp. 245--94.
- f12 5795.f12Weale's enquiry about `great African travellers' was in a missing portion of his letter of [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15). Roland Trimen visited CD at Down on 28 and 29 December 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15, letter to Roland Trimen, 24 December ).
- f13 5795.f13Weale's request for a photograph was in a missing portion of his letter of [10 December 1867] (Correspondence vol. 15). CD probably sent a photograph from a series taken by Ernest Edwards in 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14). No photograph of Weale has been found in the Darwin Archive--CUL.