To James Dwight Dana 11 November 
Down Bromley Kent [Ilkley]
My dear Sir.
I have sent you a copy of my Book (as yet only an abstract) on the Origin of species. I know too well that the conclusion, at which I have arrived, will horrify you, but you will, I believe & hope, give me credit for at least an honest search after the truth.1 I hope that you will read my Book, straight through; otherwise from the great condensation it will be unintelligible. Do not, I pray, think me so presumptuous as to hope to convert you; but if you can spare time to read it with care, & will then do what is far more important, keep the subject under my point of view for some little time occasionally before your mind, I have hopes that you will agree that more can be said in favour of the mutability of species, than is at first apparent.2 It took me many long years before I wholly gave up the common view of the separate creation of each species.
Believe me, with sincere respect & with cordial thanks for the many acts of scientific kindness which I have received from you, | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
Has sent JDD a copy of Origin; knows it will horrify him, but hopes JDD will credit him with an honest search for truth. Believes that JDD may come to think there is more to be said "in favour of mutability of species than is at first appreciated".
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Dana, J. D.
- Sent from
- Ilkley Down letterhead
- Source of text
- Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2516,” accessed on 1 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2516