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Darwin Correspondence Project

To B. J. Sulivan   22 April 1878

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

Ap. 22— 1878

My dear Sulivan

I shall be happy to subscribe 1£ annually as long as I live for Jemmy FitzRoy Button; & to save trouble I enclose subscription for next two years.1 I suppose that you have thought of the Boy’s future, & whether it is a real kindness to him to educate him; & secondly that we Beaglers are growing old.—

I am very sorry to hear so poor an account of your health, though it seems you are now getting right.—2

I have been unusually well of late, & am working away all day long on seedling plants, which at present are my delight.3

Farewell my old friend | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD, and others who had been on board HMS Beagle when the Fuegian Orundellico, named Jemmy Button by Robert FitzRoy, was returned to Tierra del Fuego in 1833, had been asked by Sulivan to subscribe towards the education of Orundellico’s orphaned grandson Cooshaipunjiz, who was to be renamed Jimmy FitzRoy Button (see letter from B. J. Sulivan, [14–20] April [1878]). CD recorded a payment of £2 to Sulivan for this purpose on 22 April 1878 in his Account books–cash account (Down House MS).
CD was investigating the movements of the embryonic shoots and roots of seedling plants (see letter to Fritz Müller, 27 March 1878).


Will be happy to subscribe to support Jemmy FitzRoy Button. Supposes BJS has considered whether it would be a real kindness to educate the boy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Bartholomew James Sulivan
Sent from
Source of text
Sulivan family (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11481,” accessed on 14 April 2021,