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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Marshall   29 May 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

May 29. 75

Dear Sir

I thank you for your paper upon ostrich feathers.1 I received today from the President of the Trans Vaal Republic in South Africa a poor specimen of an ostrich feather illustrating an appearance often presented by the birds which are there cultivated.2 I have thought that you would like to see this feather but whether it is of any value I do not know

Believe me my dear Sir | yours sincerely | Charles Darwin


Marshall had sent CD a copy of the journal Zoologische Garten with his article on the early plumage of ostriches (Marshall 1875a). CD’s copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Thomas François Burgers, president of the Transvaal Republic, had hoped to visit CD at Down (see letter from T. F. Burgers, 13 May 1875); it is possible that he made the visit on the 29 May. If the feather was sent by post, no covering letter from Burgers has been found.


Comments on WM’s paper about ostrich feathers.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Adolf Ludwig (William) Marshall
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.469)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10000,” accessed on 8 March 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23