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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   5 March [1859]1

Down Bromley Kent

March 5th

My dear Sir

The fowls arrived quite hearty yesterday & are very pretty.— I am now sufficiently stocked, thanks to your great kindness. diag Former Fowls.— 13

Hamburgh 10.6

Basket 1


£ 1.4.6ramme which I now enclose.—2

You shall hear result of experiment.—3

Mr K. Bruce told me he would join the Bee Socy.—4 & I will remind him whenever I see him.

With my renewed thanks, pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

When you see Mr Weir do not forget to ask about wing-bars &c in silver Barbs.—5


Dated by an entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) recording a payment to Tegetmeier for the amount mentioned in the letter (see n. 2, below).
CD recorded a payment of £1 4s. 6d. for ‘Tegetmeier Poultry’ on 2 March 1859 in his Account book (Down House MS).
The experiment was to ascertain whether the colour of the ancestral Gallus bankiva could be obtained by crossing existing breeds of domestic poultry. The results were described in Variation 1: 240–3.
CD had been anxious to question Harrison William Weir about the colouring of pigeons for some time. See letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 2 October [1858] and 27 [November 1858]. Black wing-bars are characteristic of the wild, ancestral pigeon, Columba livia, which is slate-blue in colour. CD had been informed that wing-bars appear almost without exception in all blue domestic breeds, but he had not yet recorded a case among barbs.


Sends payment for poultry received.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 4)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2423,” accessed on 20 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7