To J. D. Dana 8 October 1849
Down Farnborough Kent
Oct 8th— 1849
I am sincerely obliged to you for your very kind letter, & the information sent. I am sure from what you say, that had it been in your power you wd. have assisted me with specimens.—1 I was not aware that you had attended to the Cirripedia,2 otherwise I shd. have had greater scruple in applying to you.— Your’s was indeed a grand voyage, & your range of research a wide one: I have always felt much interested in regard to your classification &c of the corals; I dissected enough to see what a famous field there was open. Indeed I had intended working on this subject, but my miserable health for the last ten years, (which has lost me much more than half my time) has interrupted all my former hopes & designs.—
You cannot imagine how much gratified I have been, that you have, to a certain extent agreed with my coral-island-notions.—3
To return to the cirripedia: I am allowed to work only 2 hours daily (after 5 months doing nothing) so that it will be long before I publish: the cirripedia are moreover very troublesome, from their great variability, & the necessity of examining whole animal & inside & outside of shell.— Possibly you may publish your specimens before my monograph; in that case wd it be possible for me to see any duplicates; or in no case must be sent out of the country?—4
Your Sporillus5 sounds very curious; I shd. really like to know whether it is absolutely loose & unattached amongst the sea-weed.—
I am particularly obliged to you for pointing out to me your notice on the metamorphosis of the cirripedia in Silliman’s Journal,6 for I shd. have overlooked it.— You have to a certain extent forestalled me, though we do not take quite the same view on the homologies of the parts.—7 I have, I think, worked out the anatomy of the larva in considerable detail & I hope correctly.—
I have seen Dr. Leidy’s eyes in several genera;8 indeed I had seen & noted them as “like eyes” before reading his paper; but I do not suppose I shd. have followed out what I had seen, had it not been for Dr. Leidy; for these organs are very minute & rudimentary.—
I quite agree with you that the cirripedia are Crustacea— I have lately got a Suctorial form, which bears about same relation to common cirripedia, as Lernæa does to common Crustacea.—9
Once again allow me to thank you for the kindness & frankness of your letter, & believe me, dear Sir, with every good wish & much sympathy | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
P.S | I wrote to Dr. Baird10 & have just received an answer, begging me to thank you very sincerely for your most kind offer & say how very glad he should be to have the tracings.— His address is “Dr. Baird British Museum London”.— Dr. B. tells me in his letter that Mr Westwood is going to publish a work on the British Edriophthalmic Crustacea, in continuation of Mr Bell’s work,11 & that he was at the British Museum, when my note arrived & that he expressed a strong wish to know whether you have described new genera in this division.— If you chose to forward any thing to him; you cd. do so under cover to Dr Baird: no doubt you are aware how good & sound an Entomologist Westwood is.—
Discusses cirripedes collected by JDD.
Gratified that he agrees "to some extent" with CD’s views on coral reefs.
Mentions his health.
Asks for JDD’s publication on cirripedes.
Sends message from William Baird concerning Crustacea research of J. O. Westwood.
Mentions Joseph Leidy’s discovery of cirripede eyes.
- Letter no.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- James Dwight Dana
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 43)
- Physical description