To Philip Henry Gosse 22 September 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I want much to beg a little information from you.— I am working hard at the general question of variation, & paying for this end special attention to domestic Pigeons. This leads me to search out how many species are truly rock Pigeons, i.e. do not roost or willingly perch or nest in trees. Temminck puts C. leucocephala (your Bald-Pate) under this Category.2 Can this be the case? Is the loud Coo to which you refer in your interesting “Sojourn” like that of domestic Pigeon.3
I see in this same work you speak of Rabbits run wild: I am paying much attention to them, & am making a large collection of their skeletons. Do you think you could get any of your zealous & excellent correspondents to send me an adult (neck not broken) feral specimen:4 it would be of great value to me. It might be sent, I shd think in jar with profusion of salt & split in abdomen.—5 I shd , also, be very glad to have one of the wild Canary Birds for same object:6 I have specimen in spirits from Madeira.—
Do you think you could aid me in this & shall you be inclined to forgive so very troublesome a request? As I have found the goodnature of fellow Naturalists almost unbounded, I will venture further to state that the body of any domestic or Fancy Pigeon, which has been for some generations in the W. Indies, would be of extreme interest, as I am collecting specimens from all quarters of the world.
Trusting to your forgiveness, I remain, My dear Sir | Your’s sincerely | Ch. Darwin
CD is working hard on variations.
Asks if PHG’s bald-pate pigeon [described in A naturalist’s sojourn in Jamaica (1851)] is a true rock-pigeon.
Can he obtain a specimen of the rabbits that have run wild, and a wild canary, and the body of any domestic or fancy pigeon which has been in the West Indies for some generations?
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Gosse, P. H.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1958,” accessed on 28 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1958