skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Abraham Clapham1   [29 October 1847?]2



My dear Sir

Your letter has been forwarded to me here, where I am staying for a week to see my Father.— I am in truth really obliged to you for your kind offer of experimentising on hybrids in the ensuing year.

I hope you will record all facts, such as the number of plants you experimentise on, their names &c &c.— Of course when I publish, your experiments will be given with your name.— Negative facts (ie failures) are as important to know as successes.—

I have this day written to my Publisher to send you a copy of my Journal3 by the first opportunity. It gives me real pleasure to show you this very small mark of my thankfulness

Pray believe me | In Haste | Yours faithfully | C. Darwin

The copy I send is the second Edition, & is I hope somewhat improved, from the 1st. that was published.


The correspondent is probably Abraham Clapham (see letter to Abraham Clapham, 10 December [1849], and letter from Abraham Clapham, 8 March 1850, also concerned with hybridisation). CD cited information from ‘A. Clapham, nurseryman, of Bradford’ in Variation 1: 377.
The conjectured date is based on CD’s visit to Shrewsbury from 22 October to 5 November (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix I).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Accepts AC’s offer to conduct hybridisation experiments, and offers suggestions.

Sends book [Journal of researches, 2d ed. (1845)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Abraham Clapham
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.47)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1137,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4