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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Lumb   8 May 1834

Buenos Ayres

May 8 1834

My dear Sir—

I have delayed writing to you to the present period in order to give you as much News as possible from this side of the Andes I duly recd. your favour of the 30 March from the Falklands; which served to corroborate without details an unfortunate affair of which we had had several vague reports via Rio some days previous: Accounts recd from a settler called Helsby who left the Falklands in the Challenger are all the particulars we have received; This affair is classed here in its true light and is not considered of any political tendency: This ill fated province is destined never to be quiet. ’Ere this leaves it is very probable that our present Government will have left office they have already tendered their resignations; they are not liked by the Restauradores or those Gentlemen who detained you on your route from Santa fe when you were last here— Rosas has returned from his glorious campaign and is now at the Monte; not having as yet made his entrée into the City: 3500 Indians have been put hors de combat according to his official accounts and an immense quantity of ground good & bad obtained in exchange for an Expenditure of 9 million of our “Volatiles”—

I observe what you say respecting the Bones: By the brig “Basenthwaite” Mitchinson Martin for Liverpool I forwarded the Bones and Specimens recd. from Mr. Keen carefully packed and addressed to the Revd. Professor Henslow to whom I also forwarded bill of lading with your Letter & a few lines added by myself: and I shall forward a duplicate by the Packet— I expect when Mr Hooker1 returns from his Estate, which will be shortly, that he will bring down a good collection, which shall be duly forwarded: I preferred sending the case by a Merchant Vessel to your plan of forwarding to Rio the expense is only 10/– for freight which will be paid in England. If I should not have intruded my services on the Revd. Professor I would have requested my Agent at Liverpool to forward the Case; but I concluded he would have some friend to whose care he would recommend it: I am very glad that the Bahia Blanca relics have pleased your friends at home and as you appear so anxious for the safety of the head I think you will applaud my plan of forwarding by a Merchant Vessel instead of the Men of War via Rio where in transhipment it might probably be lost.

Our new Minister has not yet arrived; The Sparrow hawk Brig was spoken a few days ago to the northwest of Rio; he is reported to be on board this Vessel and will probably soon make his appearance; Mr Gore is quite tired of us I seldom see him in the Streets now; I formerly saw daily when making faces at the Wife of an English [Trainer] here but not being successful I think he has taken a dislike to our Neighbourhood— Mr Griffiths you will know is as though he did not exist for the majority of his Countrymen now we seldom hear any thing of him he is quite secluded— General Quiroga2 from the Interior of whose exploits I presume you must have heard is at present here; with the money he brought down with him he has purchased One Million and a half of our new created Six per cents he is very rich and goes about here with a poncho wrapped round him— If you have not heard of him enquire his character in Chile— The last accounts from England are not interesting— Portugal and Spain were getting worse; The revolt of the Carlists in Spain was not put down altho’ several say many battles had been fought in difft. parts of the Country: a number of Friars had been executed and others were in the field with pistols at their Belts & Cartridge Boxes on their shoulders: The English and French Squadrons in the Mediterranean had been recalled Russia having giving satisfactory accounts of her Views towards Turkey— An immense number of shipping had been lost on the coasts of England & France in the months of December & January last by a series of westerly Gales— A famine raged in some parts of Russia which caused great distress— You must not forget to write me and if I can be of any service to command me: When Hooker comes down I shall forward the bones; and I have charged Mr. Keen to procure any that he may hear of and I continually make enquiries myself it is therefore probable I may send some which may prove interesting— [Zurillos] has been down here and promised to procure me some from the Carcaraņa—

As we are never to be perfectly settled here; a few fellows came into the town on the 29th. ultim & fired several Shots into the house of the Canonized Vidal3 who if you recollect during Balcarces4 administration went to Santa fe to persuade Lopez5 to come down with an Army to this province— They also fired into the house of the Minister Garcia6 and killed a poor fellow who happened to enquire what they were about; the town was in great alarm it was only 8 o.Clock when the affair happened— Rivadavia7 arrived on the 28th. ult. from France but was ordered on board again 3 hours after landing in order to prevent disturbance & the Government have consulted the Sala on the Subject— He still remains in the Roads— Two or three Vessels have arrived at Montevideo with Slaves or African colonists as they term them and on the representation of Mr. Gore a vessel fitting out here has been detained— A Breed of dromedaries has been introduced in the Banda Oriental from the Canary Islands; it is supposed they will do well— Rivadavia has brought out a number of Mulberry plants and Silk worms with the intention of propagating the breed in this country— This Gentleman says he has been accused of attempting to monarchize the Republics of S. America and untill he is either found guilty or acquitted he will not leave the Country;— There have been a many discussions in the public prints relative to the unconstitucional proceeding of the Government in ordering him to leave the Country—

There have been many failures in America lately owing to the Removal of the Bank deposits belonging to the Govt. and many angry discussions have taken place in the Senate & Congress on the subject: The presidents determination has caused a great deal of mercantile distress and this will in the end seriously affect the Yankee community at large— The Indians vanquished by Rosas at all points have lately made their appearance on the frontiers of Cordova & San Luis & have made terrible havoc so that they are not so completely destroyed as some anticipated— You must excuse this—heterogeneous mass of stuff which I hope will prove amusing; let me hear from you when convenient and with best wishes for your success & happiness, and kind remembrances from Mrs L and family believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very truly | Edward Lumb

P.S. To whom did you pay my little a/c at Montevideo J. G[illeg] has not [illeg] to me for it— L

Pray remember me kindly to Chaffers, & all enquiring. Lumb


The owner of one of the estates at which CD stayed during his trip to West Uruguay. In his field notebook an entry reads, ‘Hard rock at Mr Hookers Estancia’ (Down House MS Beagle Notebook 1.13, ‘Buenos Ayres, St. Fe and Parana’, p. 4).
Juan Facundo Quiroga, a regional caudillo.
Manuel José Garcia.


Responds to CD’s queries: the bones were received from Mr Keen and shipped to Henslow; expects another collection which he will forward.

Adds news that has arrived at Buenos Aires since CD left.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Lumb
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Buenos Aires
Source of text
DAR 204: 128
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 245,” accessed on 23 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1