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Darwin Correspondence Project

To ?   7 December [1855–7?]1

Dec. 7th

Dear Sir

Will you be so kind as to take the trouble to inform me the address of Mr.—(?) Mason, who I believe is at Madeira,2 & whether he intends visiting the Azores. I want him to collect for me 2 or 3 trifling specimens3 & I do not know how to write to him.—

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The years are conjectured from the reference to a Mr Mason; Nathaniel Haslope Mason collected plants in Madeira between 1855 and 1857 (R. Desmond 1994).
Nathaniel Haslope Mason; see n. 1, above.
The specimens may have been bats. In the letter to Charles Lyell, 5 [October 1860] (Correspondence vol. 8), CD wrote: ‘The subject of Bats is washed out of my head: I got Mr Mason to collect in Madeira & the species turned out to be European.... I failed to get the Azores species.’ CD was evidently also seeking bat specimens from the Azores in May 1855 (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter from T. C. Hunt, 2 July 1855). Bats are discussed in a section on the inhabitants of oceanic islands in the second chapter on geographical distribution (chapter 12) in Origin (pp. 394–5); Madeira and the Azores are not mentioned. However, see also Origin, pp. 104–7.


Concerning specimens he wants collected in the Azores.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
DAR 249: 93 (photocopy)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13867A,” accessed on 23 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)