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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   28 September [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

Sept. 28th

My dear Hooker

I suppose you will soon be home: at first you will be very busy, but after a little time, I shd. glad, if you could by giving orders to any assistant send me some dozen or so capsules with some stalk & leaves (ripe or nearly ripe) of any water plants, named in pencil, to try floating powers in sea-water.2

I have been trying in vain to get Callitriche verna & Montia fontana, which wd. be very good being such wide rangers.

If you can send me any, please send them any day, addressed diag C. Darwin

care of Mr Acton

Post Office



(Per Coach.)ramme

In the course of some weeks, you unfortunate wretch, you will have my M.S. on one point of Geograph. Distribution—3 I will, however, never ask such a favour again; but in regard to this one piece of M.S. it is of infinite importance to me for you to see it; for never in my life have I felt such difficulty what to do, & I heartily wish I could slur the whole subject over.—

I hope your tour has answered in every way. I wrote to you at Vienna.4 With kindest remembrances to Mrs Hooker, Ever yours | C. Darwin

We shall meet at Phil. Club on 16th.—5


Dated by the reference to CD’s manuscript on geographical distribution, which was completed in October 1856 (‘Journal’; Appendix II).
The list has not been preserved. The plants required were probably those mentioned in letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 [July 1856].
The forty pages of manuscript relating to geographical distribution (Natural selection, chapter 11) that CD wanted Hooker to read (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 July [1856]).
Both Hooker and CD attended the 16 October meeting of the Philosophical Club (Royal Society Philosophical Club minutes).


Natural selection: Charles Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975.


Will send MS on one point of geographical distribution. It is "of infinite importance" that JDH see it, for CD has never felt such difficulty in deciding what to do.

Wants capsules of aquatic plants, to float in sea-water.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 177
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1963,” accessed on 23 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6