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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   28 May [1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

May 28th

My dear Sir

Very many thanks for all your information.2 I do not care for any point in a hurry, if not thereby forgotten; for I have finished my M.S. & shall add nothing & correct nothing until you have read my M.S. & until I have scraped more information together.—3

I have two skulls of Sultans. Never mind about Ptarmigans from what you say.— Perhaps I shall get Creve-cœurs & Guelderlands from you or Mr. Baker,4 from whom, however, I have had no answer.

I am particularly obliged for information about courtship of Fowls. It is clear that the instinct of our Hens, (from what you say about touching them) is so vitiated that one cannot judge how they would behave in a state of nature.—

I have not read Du Chaillu; you are severe on him; but I fear from all that I hear & read he deserves severity.—5

With many thanks | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

We hope to start, on account of my daughter’s health, to Torquay on 10th. of June to stay 6 or 7 weeks there.6 Whether my copyist will have copied my M.S. in time for me to look it over before that time I know not; if not, I must defer sending it till our return.


Tegetmeier had agreed to read CD’s manuscript on variation in fowls intended for publication in Variation. See letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 March [1861] and 28 March [1861].
Either Samuel C. or Charles N. Baker, dealers in ornamental poultry.
Paul Belloni Du Chaillu. See letter to Edward Cresy, 28 May [1861] and n. 2.
In the event, the Darwins were unable to leave for Torquay until 1 July (‘Journal’; Appendix II).


Has completed MS on poultry [for Variation].

Thanks for information on their courtship.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3164,” accessed on 17 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9