skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To E. A. Darwin   26 [April 1853]



My dear Eras.

I have had a second letter from Jos this morning & he has discovered, that as I thought the £5000 was always Emma’s, & consequently that the Leeds & Bradford shares were improperly transferred to me.1 Jos says he cannot see any use in my making the deficiency good. I do not understand anything on the subject; but as you seemed to take a different view, & this obviously is the safest I will tell him so, & will in a day or two get Stokes2 to make the Transfer of the Newcastle & Carlisle Ry shares, & send the certificate to you, when completed.

I now send a list of all Trust Property, & all exchange ever effected.

I am very much obliged for the calculations about the Tanks.3 I am scheming a great water-work & I heartily wish you were here to scheme: it is to make a very large tank; & then to be able from this to fill my three others, which are much smaller but as deep or deeper, from the large shallow one. I thought of doing it by a siphon. I want you to look when next at Athenæum in Encyclopedia, & see if you can find out anything on this subject. The siphon I propose to be gutta Percha: it would have to be about 180 feet from top of furthest tank to tank, not in a quite straight line; the tanks ⁠⟨⁠missing section⁠⟩⁠

P.S | As Mr Salt drew out the enclosed declaration received this morning from Jos, which applied to Earl Powis’ mortgage, & not to Major Owens, do you not think it would be proper if you were to send me an acknowledgment of the documents & Trust which you hold. You have now everything except the Grt. Western Ry.— I have no idea what is use of this declaration, but I presume it must be of some by Mr. Salts sending it. By the way as you are Trustee of other partie it might be as well to save any confusion hereafter.— Perhaps you had better return the enclosed.—


Charles Stokes of Stokes & Hughes, CD’s brokers.
These tanks appear to be related to those discussed in letters to Edward Cresy, 29 April [1853] and 15 May [1853]. The purpose of the project was probably to provide a supply of liquid manure. A notice in Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 15, 9 April 1853, p. 237, headed ‘Tanks’ advised a correspondent that the tanks for this purpose ‘should be large enough to contain at least a month’s supply of the sewage’. It also suggested the same supplier (Burgess & Key) of the gutta percha tubing mentioned here and in the other letters on the subject. CD had first expressed interest in the use of liquid manure in connection with his farm in Beesby, Lincolnshire (Correspondence vol. 3, letter from John Higgins, 2 October 1845).


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


Writes concerning marriage trust.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.10: 19, 22
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1380,” accessed on 12 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5