From James Dwight Dana 4 December 1862
Dec. 4, 1862
My dear Mr Darwin:
A year and a half ago I partially completed a letter to you in reply to your kind words which greeted me soon after my arrival in the country.—1 I have been delaying ever since then against my inclination, with the hope of being able soon to report that I was in a condition to read your work.2 Many long months, and now, even years, have passed by, and still your book remains unopened. You see that I have been gaining and doing some work in the Geological Manual which I trust will have reached you before you have the reading of this note.3 But I have worked to great disadvantage, 1 to 3 hours a day and often none at all and thus, have gradually pushed through the labor to the end. I am now resuming my duties in the University.4 But one hours intercourse with the Students in the lecture room, is a day’s work for me. Thus you will yet pardon my seeming neglect of your work. In my geology, I had a chapter partly prepared on the question whether the origination of species was a subject within the range of Dynamical Geology,—taking sides, I confess, against you—: but I omitted it entirely because I could not study up the subject to the extent that was necessary to do it justice. I have however expressed an opinion on this point in the geology; and this you will excuse: for my pesuasions are so strong that I could not say less.—5 You will perhaps be the more interested in the work because of its American Character.—6
I have thus far had nothing to do, since the summer of 1859, with the editing of the Jour. Sci. although wholly charged with it before then. I hope soon to take hold again.7
I shall take great pleasure in hearing from you; and if a photograph of yourself could be added to your letter it would enhance greatly the pleasure.
Although so long silent, there is no failing of esteem and admiration on the part of your friend | James D. Dana
Charles Darwin Esq—
Illness has prevented his reading Origin. He has, however, expressed his [negative] opinion on the subject of mutability of species in his Manual of geology . Since his persuasions are so strong, he can do no less.
- Letter no.
- Dana, J. D.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Sent from
- New Haven
- 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. 3845,” accessed on 20 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3845