To Edward Hitchcock 6 November 
Down Bromley Kent
Absence from home has prevented me sooner acknowledging your truly generous present of the Final Report on the Geology of Massachusetts.—1 I assure you I feel sensibly the honour & kindness you have done me. I have as yet read only a little, but I see that there will be much that will interest me greatly; I allude more especially to your detailed accounts of the alluvial deposits, ice & water action, &c. &c. Your’s is indeed a magnificent work with its numerous & striking illustrations. I am delighted to possess the excellent plates on the footsteps,2 & I daresay I shall find some further information, though I have carefully read your several papers.3 In my opinion these footsteps (with which subject your name is certain to go down to long future posterity) make one of the most curious discoveries of the present century & highly important in its several bearings. How sincerely I wish that you may live to discover some of the bones belonging to these gigantic birds: how eminently interesting it would be know, whether their structure branches off towards the Amphibia, as I am led to imagine that you have sometimes suspected. The finding the bones of the Rhynchosaurus in the pure hard sandstone of Grindshill in Shropshire (where there are some Reptile footsteps) may give one hopes.4
I am preparing a little volume on the geology of S. America, which, when published next summer, I will beg you to do me the kindness to accept; though it is a miserable acknowledgment for your grand work.
With my sincere thanks and much respect. Pray believe me, dear Sir | Yours faithfully & obliged. C. Darwin
Thanks EH for his Final report on the geology of Massachusetts . Comments on EH’s discovery of fossil footprints.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 925,” accessed on 25 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-925