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Darwin Correspondence Project

From V. O. Kovalevsky   30 December 1881

Charing Cross Hotel.

30 December 1881

Dear Sir!

You will allow an old friend to send You this small N. Y. gift as it may convey You some idea of the real struggle our peasant population are waging constantly against a hard climate and a poor soil.—1

With my best wishes for the N. Y. and many more to come | I remain Your very truly | an old Friend

P.S. You asked me once for Adm. Boutakoff photo, he is now over 8 years dead, but his widow, on my request sends You his portrait2


According to a note written by Francis Darwin at the top of the letter, Kovalevsky’s gift was a ‘box with plougher’. The box was evidently made of silver gilt by the firm of Sazikov; it featured an engraving based on a work by Nikolai Yegorovich Sverchkov, a Russian artist known for paintings with horses (Correspondence vol. 30, letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 18 January [1882]). In 1867, Kovalevsky had sent CD a bearskin rug made from a Russian bear he had shot (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 24 April [1867]).
No record of CD’s request has been found; the photograph of Aleksey Ivanovich Butakoff has not been found. Butakoff’s widow was Olga Nikolaevna Butakova.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


New Year’s greetings.

Letter details

Letter no.
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Charing Cross Hotel
Source of text
DAR 169: 99
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13588,” accessed on 28 May 2023,