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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   11 March [1878]1

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

March 11th.

My dear Hooker

I am very sorry to trouble you, but I hope that you will read the enclosed letter carefully, and express a judgment on it addressed to me, or what I think would be better to Farrer.2 He, and Mr. Caird seem nearly determined, if you express a favourable opinion, to act, either by applying to government or getting up a small subscription amongst agriculturists3

They think our joint opinion would be as good as a memorial signed by a dozen men. If on further reflection you consider the plan utopian or useless, I shall throw-up the case. I have sent Mr. T. £100 which he says he will not use at present;4 and shall tell him that I can help him no more. Will you return me the enclosed, together with your judgment, which I will then forward to Farrer.5

Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin

I should go frantic mad if I was in your place & had daily to consider memorials & such devilish work.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 March 1878 (Correspondence vol. 26).
The enclosure has not been found; it was a corrected version of CD’s letter to Thomas Henry Farrer, expressing support for James Torbitt’s experiments on the breeding of blight-resistant potatoes (see Correspondence vol. 26, letter to T. H. Farrer, 7 March 1878 and enclosure).
CD had been working with Farrer and James Caird to obtain financial support for Torbitt (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 26, letter from James Caird to T. H. Farrer, 2 March 1878).
See Correspondence vol. 26, letter from James Torbitt, 6 March 1878. CD had enclosed a cheque for £100 to enable Torbitt to continue his potato experiments for another season if a government grant could not be obtained.
See Correspondence vol. 26, letter to T. H. Farrer, 13 March 1878.


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


Sends JDH a letter he has written supporting James Torbitt’s potato trials.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (JDH/2/2/1 f. 310)
Physical description
ALS 3pp LS(A)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11412F,” accessed on 4 October 2022,