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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. B. Buckley   9 November 1880

Down Beckenham

Nov. 9th. 1880

My dear Miss Buckley

Your last letter and the M.S. notes are all as clear and full as could possibly be desired.— I quite agree with your summary of Wallace’s more important results;1 but I have added a sentence about the colouring of animals.2 I fear that it would never do to ask a Cabinet Minister (the Duke of Argyll) to sign a memorial to the Prime Minister.—3 This morning I drew up a long and full statement of Wallace’s claims, position &c., and have sent it to be well copied.—4 Immediately on its return it shall be despatched to Huxley.5 I hardly ever wished for anything more than I do for the success of our efforts.

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Buckley had sent a summary of Alfred Russel Wallace’s claims for a government pension (see letter from A. B. Buckley, 7 November 1880 and enclosure).
For Wallace’s theory of protective coloration, see Wallace 1878, pp. 158–220; he had corresponded at length with CD on the topic (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 19, letter to A. R. Wallace, 30 January [1871]).
George Douglas Campbell was appointed lord privy seal in April 1880 (ODNB); the prime minister was William Ewart Gladstone.
There is a draft of the memorial in DAR 196: 3; for a transcription, see Appendix VI.


Wallace, Alfred Russel. 1878a. Tropical nature, and other essays. London: Macmillan and Co.


Thanks for information about Wallace. Is preparing memorial to be submitted to Government [seeking pension for Wallace].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Arabella Burton Buckley
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 183
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12806,” accessed on 5 March 2024,