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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Johnson   6 February 1882

Trindle Road Dudley

Feby 6th. 82

C. R Darwin Esqre.

Dear Sir,

I have recently purchased & read with intense interest your recent Work on “The formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms”.—1

For the very great pleasure your Book has afforded me I beg to offer you a fine Slab of Sandstone from the Coal Measures of this District literally covered with fossil Annelide tracts, and Casts.2 The Slab is about 4ft 6 in Square and about 2 inches thick, and if you will do me the favor of its acceptance I will forward it carriage paid to any address you are pleased to give me. I have smaller slabs down to 2 ft square but should like you to have the largest.—

While I am writing you upon this subject may I ask you if you know of any Geologist in London who would come down to Dudley on the 20th. of this month and give the members of the Dudley Institute of Mining Engineers a Popular Lecture upon the Life found in the Rocks from the Cambrian Slates up to the London Clay?3 Simply confining himself to a short description of all the series of deposits with the progressively developed life found in them without further comment than those facts.

We would give him £10.10.0 (he paying his own travelling expences) for the one evening.

I shall be glad to hear from you at your convenience.| & remain Yours faithfully. | Hy Johnson


For a description of the coal measures of the area near Dudley in South Staffordshire, see Jukes 1859, pp. 16–105.
No record has been found of the proposed talk.


Earthworms: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms: with observations on their habits. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1881.

Jukes, Joseph Beete. 1859. The South Staffordshire coal-field. 2d edition. (Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain and of the Museum of Practical Geology.) London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts.


Offers CD gift of slab with fossil annelid tracks.

Does CD know geologist who might give lecture in Dudley?

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Johnson
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 468
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13665,” accessed on 4 October 2023,