Warns ARW of dubious character of list of European alpine genera and species in volcanoes of Hawaii. Problems of geographical distribution in oceanic islands.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Wallace
You allude in y
The list is quite unintelligible to me; it is not pretended that the same species exist in the Sandwich I's & Arctic Regions; & as far as the genera are concerned, I know that in almost every one of them species inhabit such countries as Florida, N. Africa, New Holland &c. Therefore these genera seem to me almost mundane, & their presence in the Sandwich I.s will not, as I suspect in my ignorance, shew any relation to the Arctic regions. The Sandwich I.s, tho' I have never considered them much, have long been a sore perplexity to me; they are eminently oceanic in position & productions; they have long been separated from each other; & there are only slight signs of subsidence in the islets to the westward.
I remember however speculating that there must have been some immigration during the glacial period from N. America or Japan; but I cannot remember what my grounds were. Some of the plants, I think, shew an affinity with Australia.
I am very glad that you like Lyell's chapter on oceanic islands, for I thought it one of the best in the part which I have read. If you do not receive the big photo. of me in due time, let me hear.
yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
- f1 6109.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. R. Wallace, 8 [April] 1868.
- f2 6109.f2CD refers to Berthold Carl Seemann and a list of Hawaiian plants that Seemann had made. Wallace had sent the list to CD with his letter of 8 [April] 1868, but CD evidently returned it and it has not been found. The list was published in Mann 1866. CD also refers to Joseph Dalton Hooker.
- f3 6109.f3Hooker had gone on a trip to north Wales with Thomas Henry Huxley (letter from J. D. Hooker, 7 April 1868).
- f4 6109.f4The Sandwich Islands was the name given to the Hawaiian islands by James Cook in 1778 (Columbia gazetteer of the world).
- f5 6109.f5New Holland was the earlier Dutch name for Australia.
- f6 6109.f6CD had briefly discussed the geology of Hawaii in Coral reefs, pp. 61--2, 131, 158--9.
- f7 6109.f7CD refers to Lyell 1867--8, 2: 402--32 (see letter from A. R. Wallace, 8 [April] 1868 and n. 8).
- f8 6109.f8See letter from A. R. Wallace, 8 [April] 1868 and n. 7.