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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. W. Bates   27 February [1862]1

Down Bromley Kent

Feb. 27th

My dear Sir

I have nothing to add to my morning’s scrawl,2 except to thank you heartily for giving me what information you could on domestic animals of Indians.— I am very glad to have the list & your remarks on the breeding of the animals tamed by the Indians.—3 Case of the Fowl will be useful to me.—4

I am very sincerely glad that Murray took same view of your M.S. that I did. I told him that I believed it would be the best Book of the class ever published.—5 Whether public approve highly or not, I am sure I shall not change my opinion.— If I can be of any use about Geology or about anything, pray ask me.—

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

I am hard-at-work at proof-sheets of my little Orchid Book.—6


The year is established by the reference to the negotiations for the publication of Bates 1863 (see n. 5, below and letter to H. W. Bates, 27 [February 1862]).
The letter from Bates has not been found. In his letter to Bates of 13 January [1862], CD had asked whether any South American animals would breed when ‘long kept in confinement’. Bates commented on this subject in Bates 1863, 1: 99, 191–4, and 2: 113. Bates’s observations on the sterility of South American animals kept in captivity by Indian tribes were cited by CD in Variation 2: 150–6.
In Bates 1863, 1: 193 and 2: 112, Bates stated that curassow birds (large, turkey-like birds from South America) apparently did not breed when kept in captivity by South American Indians. CD cited this observation in Variation 2: 156.
CD sent most of the manuscript of Orchids to John Murray on 10 February 1862 (see letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862]). See also letter to W. E. Darwin, 14 February [1862] and n. 15. Orchids was published on 15 May 1862 (Freeman 1977, p. 112).


Thanks for information on domestic animals of Indians.

Glad Murray thinks well of MS of The naturalist on the river Amazons.

CD working on proofs of Orchids.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Walter Bates
Sent from
Source of text
Leeds University Library (Brotherton collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3462,” accessed on 17 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10