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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. G. Forchhammer   1 December [1849]

Down Farnborough Kent

December 1st.

My dear Sir

I write in great anxiety about the parcel of cirripedes.— I received your letter of Nov. 16th a few days ago.—and I immediately wrote to the agents of the Pomona Steamer1 to enquire if any parcel had arrived addressed to me 7. Park St. Grosvenor Square; this morning I have received an answer stating that the Pomona arrived on the 20th & that there was no package on board for me.— I most earnestly hope it may have been left at Copenhagen will you make enquiries.— I will write again to agents here to ask whether there was any package addressed to any name like mine— I am deeply grieved about this.— Pray thank Prof. Steentrup most cordially for his letter, I will write to him in a short time.—2

I find from his letter there was a specimen of Alepas squalicola, which is the cirripede of all others in the world, I wish most to dissect.—3 How anxious I shall be to hear from you— You had better insist upon the agents in Copenhagen writing to the London Agents.— It is a terrible loss—

In Haste | Yours most gratefully | C. Darwin

Pray communicate to Prof. Steentrup about the parcel; how I do hope it may have been forgotten to have been shipped.— I shd be most grateful to Prof. Steentrup for the Greenland cirripedes—but I will write to him.—

I am so sorry to cause you all this trouble, after your extreme kindness to me.—

When I hear from you again that it was actually shipped—I will put an advertisement in Times newspaper, & offer large reward for recovery of Parcel


In the letter from J. G. Forchhammer, [15 November 1849], Forchhammer stated that the parcel went by the steamer Camilla. Presumably he wrote the next day to say that the parcel was going in the steamer Pomona instead. The Pomona arrived at Gravesend on 21 November having called at Riga and St Petersburg (the Globe, 22 November 1849). The reason CD had not received the parcel was that it had been put inside another box and sent to a mineral dealer, who did not forward the specimens to CD until January 1850 (letter to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 25 January [1850]).
See letter to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 30 December [1849].
See letters to Albany Hancock, 29 September [1849], and to Sven Lovén, 12 November 1849, n. 2. CD may have been anxious to dissect this barnacle because of its near affinity to Ibla, a genus with a remarkable range of sexual forms (see Living Cirripedia (1851): 179–80).


Inquires about parcel of cirripede specimens lost in transit. Asks him to tell Steenstrup about the loss.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Johan Georg Forchhammer
Sent from
1 DE 1 1849
Source of text
University of Copenhagen, Mineralogical Museum Archives
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1273,” accessed on 18 January 2022,

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