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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Adam White   [January–March 1850]1


My dear Sir

As you tell me that Mr Adams is going out to Lancaster Sound,2 will you ask him, whether he will do me the real favour to collect for me any cirripedes floating or fixed from N. latitudes, marking localities. Care must be taken of the bases of the Sessile cirripedes.—

Will you also ask him, where “Cape Rivers” Voyage of Samarang is.—3

Yours in great Haste. | Very sincerely | C. Darwin


Dated on the basis of n. 2, below.
H.M.S. Lady Franklin and H.M.S. Sophia set out to search for the lost Franklin expedition in April 1850. Arthur Adams was not on board, but CD did obtain at least one specimen from the voyage. A Balanus porcatus from Lancaster Sound is listed in Living Cirripedia (1854): 257 as owned by ‘Mr. Sutherland’, presumably Peter Cormack Sutherland, surgeon to the expedition and author of an account of it (Sutherland 1852).
Cape Rivers is located on the northern part of Celebes. Arthur Adams, assistant surgeon on board H.M.S. Samarang during the survey of the Malay Archipelago, 1843–6, provided notes on the natural history of the islands in Belcher 1848 and edited the Zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Samarang (1850). Adam White collaborated with him in the descriptions of the Crustacea from the voyage.


Belcher, Edward. 1848. Narrative of the voyage of HMS Samarang, during the years 1843–46; employed surveying the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. 2 vols. London.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.

Sutherland, Peter Cormack. 1852. Journal of a voyage in Baffin’s Bay and Barrow Straits, in the years 1850–1851, performed by HM Ships ‘Lady Franklin’ and ‘Sophia’, under the command of Mr William Penny, in search of the missing crews of HM Ships Erebus and Terror. 2 vols. London.


Requests AW to ask Arthur Adams, who is going on a polar expedition to Lancaster Sound, to collect cirripedes.

Asks location of "Cape Rivers".

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1286,” accessed on 28 February 2021,

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