skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   19 December [1879]1

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

Dec. 19th

My dear Hooker.

I am greatly indebted to you. Your letter is conclusive & I quite agree. I thought only of Wallace’s distress & of his service to Nat. History, & what you say about Spiritualism & especially about the bet, never once crossed my mind.— What a mistake & mess I shd. have made had I not consulted you.— I am, however, very sorry & must write to Miss. B. that I can do nothing.2

Once again I thank you most truly. | Ever yours | Ch. Darwin

P.S. Please thank Dyer for me for seeds— those of the cotton are a treasure to me.3 My work must & shall soon end, otherwise you & Dyer will wish me dead & buried.— Asa Gray has sent me seeds of Megarrhiza, but I doubt whether they are ripe.—4


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 18 December 1879.
Arabella Burton Buckley had asked CD to use his influence to find a post for Alfred Russel Wallace (letter from A. B. Buckley, 16 December 1879). For CD’s initial response, and Hooker’s reply, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 17 December 1879, and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 18 December 1879.
See letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 20 November 1879. Cotton belongs to the genus Gossypium; CD discussed the circumnutation of cotton seedlings in Movement in plants, pp. 22–3.
CD had asked Gray for seeds of Megarrhiza californica, a synonym of Marah fabacea, California manroot. The seeds germinated on 10 January 1880 (DAR 209.6: 106).


JDH convinces CD not to press for pension for Wallace.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 494–5
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12363,” accessed on 14 September 2023,