To Richard Owen 28 April 
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Owen.
I have received a letter from Capt. Sulivan at the Falkland Isls 1 expressing his continued desire & zeal to collect fossil Bones on the coast of Patagonia, if he can get a vessel. He wants to know whether there is any prospect of one being sent him. Are you willing to remind Sir F. Beaufort?2 Years may pass before such a chance again occurs of having a most zealous individual so near at hand knowing actually where there are bones.— Sulivan specifies November as the best month for the purpose: he says the Captain must have distinct orders to assist him: he would go to Gallegos3 first; St Julians for the Macrauchenia & other likely places & even Bahia Blanca: it wd take about 6 weeks.— he requires no remuneration for himself.— I have no doubt without you are prepared to give a flapper4 & get orders sent out to the Admiral of the Station, all will be forgotten;—whether you think this worth while, I know not.— I shall write to Sulivan at once; but if you see or hear from Sir F. Beaufort & can give any answer, whether favourable or not, will you please let me hear, that I may inform Sulivan, as he begs to hear.— Failing a King’s Ship; he asks whether any Societies or Government wd aid him to amount of £150 or 200£; for with this sum he cd get a Sealer to take him; but I feel assured this is hopeless,—at least as far as Societies are concerned.— Sulivan says, & I am sure truly, that he cannot afford this sum himself.
I have to thank you much for sending me a note some time since, which I could show to Mrs Dixon,5 if I went to Worthing; but travelling is so fatiguing to me, that it is not worth my while to go such a journey for a single species, which is all that I w〈ant〉 urgently.— Perhaps you will be so 〈kind〉 if you have occasion to communicate with Mrs Dixon, to ask her whether she has found & would lend me, a linear shell, named Xiphidium angustum & figured Pl. XXVIII fig. 9.6
I certainly do wish much to see it; but not sufficiently to take me such a journey. How I hope that your Lectures7 will be published, of which you sent me the prospectus;
Yours my dear Owen very truly | C. Darwin
Discusses possibility of providing B. J. Sulivan with a vessel for fossil hunting in Patagonia.
Asks RO to ask Mrs Dixon about borrowing cirripede specimen.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1322,” accessed on 24 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1322