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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. W. Darwin   31 August [1831]


August 31

My dear Father

I am afraid I am going to make you again very uncomfortable.— But upon consideration, I think you will excuse me once again stating my opinions on the offer of the Voyage.— My excuse & reason is, is the different way all the Wedgwoods view the subject from what you & my sisters do.—

I have given Uncle Jos, what I fervently trust is an accurate & full list of your objections, & he is kind enough to give his opinion on all.— The list & his answers will be enclosed.— But may I beg of you one favor. it will be doing me the greatest kindness, if you will send me a decided answer, yes or no.— If the latter, I should be most ungrateful if I did not implicitly yield to your better judgement & to the kindest indulgence which you have shown me all through my life.—& you may rely upon it I will never mention the subject again.— if your answer should be yes; I will go directly to Henslow & consult deliberately with him & then come to Shrewsbury.— The danger appears to me & all the Wedgwoods not great.— The expence can not be serious, & the time I do not think anyhow would be more thrown away, than if I staid at home.— But pray do not consider, that I am so bent on going, that I would for one single moment hesitate, if you thought, that after a short period, you should continue uncomfortable.—

I must again state I cannot think it would unfit me hereafter for a steady life.— I do hope this letter will not give you much uneasiness.— I send it by the Car tomorrow morning if you make up your mind directly will you send me an answer on the following day, by the same means.— If this letter should not find you at home, I hope you will answer as soon as you conveniently can.—

I do not know what to say about Uncle Jos.’ kindness, I never can forget how he interests himself about me

Believe me my dear Father | Your affectionate son | Charles Darwin.

PS. Frank would be much obliged if you would forward the Crockery to the Hill.—

(1) Disreputable to my character as a Clergyman hereafter

(2) A wild scheme

(3) That they must have offered to many others before me, the place of Naturalist (4) And from its not being accepted there must be some serious objection to the vessel or expedition

(5) That I should never settle down to a steady life hereafter

(6) That my accomodations would be most uncomfortable

(7). That you should consider it as again changing my profession

(8) That it would be a useless undertaking


CD asks his father to consider the offer of the Beagle voyage once more. He encloses his list of RWD’s objections and Josiah Wedgwood’s responses [see 109]. Asks his father to give him a decided answer: if "no" he will never again mention the subject.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Waring Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 223: 1; DAR 97: B10
Physical description
ALS 4pp encl

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 110,” accessed on 1 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1