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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Dana   10 October [1853]

Down Bromley Kent

Oct. 10th.—

My dear Sir

I really do not know how to thank you for your truly magnificent presents. I have just been to London for a few days, & I found at the Geological Society your note of the 4th of May with Dr. Owens Report;1 & then on my return home I found arrived your own work on the Crustacea. You will believe me when I say that I fully appreciate the value of a copy on my shelves, when I tell you that copied out many pages, thinking that I shd at some future time wish to refresh my memory on several points.2 I daresay you will before this ⁠⟨⁠have⁠⟩⁠ received a letter, which some short time ago I wrote (though at the risk of being thought by you rather presumptuous) to express my sincere admiration at this wonderful monument of labour & talent.3

With respect to Dr D. Owen’s work, I have as yet only looked at the wonderfully good illustrations;4 but everyone knows his reputation & I do not doubt I shall find much to interest me.

Accept, my dear Sir, my most cordial thanks, but really I do not deserve such kindness, with every good feeling & wish towards you, pray believe me | Your’s sincerely & gratefully | Charles Darwin


D. D. Owen 1852. The copy sent to CD by Dana is now in the library of the Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University.
CD’s copy of Dana 1853 is in the Darwin Library–CUL. Before receiving this volume from Dana, CD had borrowed Dana 1852–3, which includes Dana 1853, from John Lubbock (letter to J. D. Dana, 27 September [1853]). Only a few of CD’s separate notes are preserved in CD’s presentation copy of Dana 1853. There are further annotations throughout the book.
The illustrations of fossils in D. D. Owen 1852 were ‘particularly fine for the period’ (DAB).


DAB: Dictionary of American biography. Under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies. 20 vols., index, and 10 supplements. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons; Simon & Schuster Macmillan. London: Oxford University Press; Humphrey Milford. 1928–95.

Owen, David Dale. 1852. Report of a geological survey of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota; and incidentally of a portion of Nebraska Territory. Philadelphia.


Thanks JDD for copy of his Crustacea [1852–5]

and D. D. Owen’s Report [of a geological survey of Wisconsin, etc. (1852)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James Dwight Dana
Sent from
Source of text
Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 43)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1534,” accessed on 21 June 2024,

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