skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project


To B. J. Sulivan   15 January [1867]1

Down Bromley | Kent.

Jan 15

My dear Sulivan

I am extremely much obliged to you for getting me Mr Sterling’s answers. They are of much interest to me. I had quite forgotten that I had previously sent nearly the same questions:2 the answer about the breeding of the dogs comes in very useful just now that I am writing upon domestic animals.3 Many thanks also about the white cattle.4

I am very glad you were so kind as to call on my son William; he does not have many holidays, but if he cd spare the time I am sure he wd enjoy seeing you at Bournemouth.5

My dear Sulivan, | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from B. J. Sulivan, 11 January 1867.
In his letter of 11 January 1867, Sulivan enclosed responses from Thomas Bridges regarding the mannerisms and facial expressions of Fuegians, conveyed by Waite Hockin Stirling; these responses are published in Correspondence vol. 8, letter from Thomas Bridges, [October 1860 or after]. CD cited information from Bridges at least four times in Expression, and in Descent 2: 351 n. For the queries that CD had forgotten he had sent, see Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Thomas Bridges, 6 January 1860; see also, this volume, letter from B. J. Sulivan, 11 January 1867 and nn. 2 and 3. The latest list of queries that CD sent to Sulivan has not been found.
The section on breeding dogs is in a missing section of Bridges’s reply (see Correspondence vol. 8, letter from Thomas Bridges, [October 1860 or after]); however, see Variation 2: 207 for the information that Bridges sent. In his letter, Bridges also wrote that, to make their dogs lighter, the Fuegians cut off their tails while they were puppies; CD mentioned the remark in Variation 1: 39.
See letter from B. J. Sulivan, 11 January 1867 and nn. 4 and 5.
CD refers to William Erasmus Darwin; see letter from B. J. Sulivan, 11 January 1867 and n. 6.


Thanks BJS for W. H. Stirling’s answers [to queries about expression]

and for information on cattle and breeding of dogs.

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Sulivan, B. J.
Sent from
Source of text
E. Sulivan (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5365,” accessed on 26 October 2016,