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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   8 November 1834

Beagle. Valparaiso

November 8th. 1834

My dear Henslow.—

This letter is merely to inform you that I send by H.M.S. Challenger two boxes, with Specimens.— She does not sail from this port till January, & will not arrive in England for at least 4 months afterwards.1 This letter goes by the Challenger to England.— In one of the Cases, I have given you an account of all our proceedings & future prospects &c &c.— I have also sent a part of my Journal.— would you be kind enough to direct & book it by some Coach to Dr Darwin Shrewsbury.— I did not think of sending it till five minutes before closing the Box, otherwise I would have directed it.— Of course, if you are inclined, you can look at any part of my hum-drum letter-like journal There are three small parcels of seeds; the one in the oblong box I have labelled as coming from T. del Fuego. it comes from Chiloe: (Climate &c &c like T. del Fuego but considerably warmer).— I do not much expect, that any one seed will grow.—

Continue to direct Valparaiso: if you know any person in Liverpool who would post your letters to me by any of the numerous ships to this port I should receive them a couple of months sooner.— in this case, they must be directed to the care of R. Corfield Esqr.— Yours most truly obliged | Chas. Darwin


The Challenger sailed from Coquimbo on 5 February 1835, but did not proceed to England. After arriving at Rio de Janeiro in March, she set out on 1 April on her ill-fated voyage to the west coast of South America (see ‘Loss of His Majesty’s frigate Challenger’ 1835). CD’s cases, if they were shipped in the Challenger, may have been transferred to another vessel at Rio de Janeiro.


Sends two boxes of specimens and part of his "hum-drum letter-like" journal.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
HMS Beagle, Valparaiso
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 24 DAR/1/1/24)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 263,” accessed on 2 June 2023,

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