From Adam Sedgwick 18 September 1831
Sepr. 18. 1831.
Before this you will have received a letter I addressed to you, some time since, at Shrewsbury. It contained a statement of what I was doing & had done— I have now resolved to confine myself to this county, & if I can finish it to my satisfaction I shall be well content to turn my back on these mountains for a season— I cannot but be glad at your appointment & I truly hope it will be a source of happiness & honor to you.— I really dont know what to say about books— No. 1 Daubeny.1 No. 2. a book on Geology— D’aubuissions2 work is one of the best tho’ full of Wernerian nonsense.—3 I dont think Bakewell a bad book for a beginner—4 For fossil shells what is to be done?— Go to the Geological Society and introduce yourself to Mr Lonsdale5 as my friend & fellow traveller & he will counsel you— Humboldts personal narrative you will of course get— He will at least show the right spirit with wh. a man should set to work— There is a small paper printed by the Geol. Socy containing directions for travellers &c—6 Lonsdale will give you a copy: but it is a mere horn book7 hardly worth your looking at— Study the Geological Socys. collection as well as you can—& pay them back in specimens— I am to propose you when the meetings begin.8 I am in great hurry as my gig is at the door:—on my way to Clynnog from which place D.V. I hope in ten days to work my way round the great S. Western Promontory of Cardigan bay— I shall then return pack up—& start for Capel Curig—where I must halt again for ye 3d time to make a traverse or two in ye chain— But this depends on the weather— Should it fairly break up I must lodge
The Carnarvon Chain is very troublesome from the number of anticlinal lines wh I have to follow out from hill to hill & valley to valley upways, downways, & cross ways. I will try to give you a notion of one section
[DIAGRAM HERE] a. slate quarries on w. side of Mynydd Mawr b. Mynydd Mawr, a great anticlinal line b’.pass of Drws y Coed.. c. Drws-y-Coed — —Do.— — D. Moel Haebog E. Foel Ddu. an anticlinal li〈ne〉 f. Pass of Pont Aberglaslyn— g. 〈Cni〉cht., k. h. hills toward Festiniog.
The prevailing dip in ye Snowdonian chain is S.E with numberless great contortions; & the base of ye series is near ye line of the Slate quarries (a) on ye west side of the Chain.— The strike of the beds in the chain is about N.N.E. with singular uniformity, till you reach the Eastern outskirts & then all is confusion.— The Merioneth chains are elevated in the same direction (as far as I have seen ’em) but ye prevailing tilt seems to be to the N.W. I expect to find (next year!) a great central anticlinal axis in Merioneth.—9 The place marked X in the secn. is the place where the two systems of elevation interfere with each other. But my picture is so detestable and out of all proportion that I fear you cannot comprehend it— I consider poor Ramsays death a grievous loss to the whole University— God bless you & preserve your health of mind & body. Most truly yours | A Sedgwick
I shall be happy to hear from you write to Carnarvon
Is glad of CD’s appointment and hopes it will be a source of happiness and honour.
Answers a query about books.
Suggests CD go to Geological Society, present himself, as AS’s friend, to William Lonsdale and study the Society’s collection.
Tells CD of his work in Wales; includes a diagram and explanations.
Ramsay’s death a grievous loss.
- information, data, scientific description
- positive attitude/assessment
- positive self-criticism
- queries / requests
- scientific fieldwork/fieldtrips
- specimens / samples
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 129,” accessed on 4 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-129