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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Robert Waterhouse   8 September [1852]

Down Farnborough Kent

Sept. 8th.

My dear Waterhouse

I was heartily glad to get your pleasant, fresh note, which is like one of your good shakes of the hand. Believe me that it has not been forgetfulness which has stopped me coming to see you, but I have been very seldom in London, & both the last times (which I believe includes all the times that I have been there this past summer) I have been excessively knocked up, so that I was really not able to do necessary business: rely on it, I shall not forget the pleasure of seeing you when next in London. I am delighted to hear that you are starting for your holidays & that your little ones are enjoying themselves on the sea-beach,—that abundant source of delight & mysteries to the young.

Now for business: I literally believe I know not one individual in B. Ayres: I did only know one & that was a Mr Lumb,1 & I know not whether he is there, or even alive.

In my volume on the Geology of S. America I give every locality at which I ever heard of great Bones:2 please tell me, if you think it adviseable, I wd send M. Bravard3 a copy of my Volume. If he can get to Bahia Blanca I wd. strongly advise his visiting the low cliffs of Punta alta & all the cliffs for 30 miles sea-ward, to Monte Hermoso: it was at Bahia Blanca that I reaped my best harvest. The Carcarana a branch of the Parana,—again near St. Fè Bajada, again near the R. Negro in Banda Oriental, are all excellent places. He shd. everywhere enquire for Giant Bones; He shd. go up the rivers in Boats. The evil of going to Bahia Blanca, is the sail of 200 or so miles.— I believe M. Bravard will probably be very successful. He shd know that at one time Rosas4 ordered that Fossils shd. not go out of the country; but it is excessively improbable that this wd be still acted on; if indeed it ever was acted on. He will find plenty of Frenchmen to advise him in B. Ayres.

When we meet, I shall be anxious to hear something of you & your doings. I am yet at work at the Cirripedia; it is folly for a man & a slow coach to undertake systematic w⁠⟨⁠ork⁠⟩⁠ if he can work only some two hours per diem. The Ray Socy. has delayed distributing my first vol. for the last nine months !5 whenever you can borrow a copy (for I have not a copy to give away), do read what I state on the sexes of Scalpellum & Ibla.

Farewell till we meet. Pray give my kind remembrances & compliments to Mrs Waterhouse | Ever your’s truly Ch. Darwin


Edward Lumb, merchant in Buenos Aires, with whom CD stayed in September 1833 (Correspondence vol. 1, letter to Caroline Darwin, 20 September [1833]).
The fossil bones, together with the locations in which they were found, are listed in South America, pp. 106–7.
Pierre Joseph Auguste Bravard emigrated to South America in 1853.
Juan Manuel de Rosas, Argentinian dictator. He gave CD safe passage for his ride across the Pampas from Carmen de Patagones to Buenos Aires in August and September 1833. See Journal of researches, pp. 85–7, and Correspondence vol. 1, letter from Robert FitzRoy, 24 [August 1833].
CD had received twenty advance copies on 30 January [1852].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.


Knows no one in Buenos Aires. Suggests sites in South America where Auguste Bravard can find fossils.

Ray Society has delayed distribution [of Living Cirripedia (1851)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Robert Waterhouse
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1487,” accessed on 22 May 2022,

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