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Letter 7119

Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. R.

27 Feb & 1 Mar 1870


Forwards part of a note [by Mrs L. Agassiz] asking AG to tell CD that Agassiz has never been able to secure one of the fishes sitting on eggs.

In P.S., AG adds, “Agassiz evidently regrets having abused you in former times.”


Feb. 27, 1870

Dear Darwin

You see by this that I have followed up your request, and thatthere is no answer at present. I only hope that A. may be well enoughto take a shot at his fish next summer.f1 But it is far from certain.

Now news; I am working away at what I am fittest for—study of groupsof N. Amer. plants one by one,— slow work, but pleasant.f2

My wifef3 sends best regards—

Ever Yours | A. Gray

P.S. March. 1.

Here comes another note from Mrs. A.—evidently intended to be senton to you. Agassiz evidently regrets having abused you in former times.f4


stay in England—

Agassiz says “ask Dr. Gray to tell Darwin that I cannot answerhis question for I have never succeeded in securing one of the fishessitting upon the eggs separately from others. They never bite at thehook at that time and as their nests are generally crowded it isimpossible catch a single fish with a net. I’ll try next summer byshooting at them”.

Mr Agassiz is fitter in these last few days and though his progress

DAR 82: B80



See letter from Asa Gray, 14 February 1870 and n. 2. Gray’s letteris written on the back of the enclosure; he refers to Louis Agassiz.
Gray had first begun work on a planned flora of North America, incollaboration with John Torrey, in 1833. A portion of the work waspublished between 1838 and 1843 (Torrey and Gray 1838–43), but itremained unfinished. Although Gray for many years planned to completethe work, he ultimately abandoned it, beginning to publish instead hisSynoptical flora of North America (A. Gray 1878–84), which alsoremained unfinished (Dupree 1959, pp. 385–93).
Jane Loring Gray.
The second note from Elizabeth Agassiz has not been found. LouisAgassiz had published a negative review of Origin and in 1866 hadmounted an expedition to Brazil to try to disprove CD’s theory; seeCorrespondence vols. 10 and 14, and Lurie 1960, pp. 297–8, 345–53.
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