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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray1   9 December 1862

Cambridge. [Massachusetts]

Dec. 9, 1862.

⁠⟨⁠My de⁠⟩⁠ar Darwin

This is to let you know ⁠⟨⁠that⁠⟩⁠ I have put in charge ⁠⟨⁠of o⁠⟩⁠ur kind Capt. James ⁠⟨⁠A⁠⟩⁠nderson, of this weeks ⁠⟨⁠M⁠⟩⁠.M. Steamer (Africa) a small box, wrapped as a paper parcel 112 foot long. 5 [TIMES] 5 inches or so—addressed to you—which he will forward from Liverpool—as you wish—containing Mitchella (I hope both sorts) & Cypripedium acaule, spectabile, & arietinum. Pot & keep them cold till spring, & then let grow; they will surely flower.2

I hope you are all well now, and will have a merry ChristmasWe do not expect that, but are hopeful. The Lord will remember us in due time, and we shall see some of the oppressed free.—

Adieu | Yours ever | A. Gray


This note was apparently enclosed with a letter from Gray to Joseph Dalton Hooker, dated 8 December 1862 (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Asa Gray Letters: 312)); in the letter Gray asked Hooker to forward to CD an enclosure concerning the species mentioned here.
James Anderson had been in the service of the Cunard line since 1851, and commanded fourteen different steamers belonging to that fleet in the Mediterranean and Atlantic trades (Modern English biography). Gray had been waiting since October to send ‘patches’ of the dimorphic plant Mitchella repens and live roots of North American species of the orchid genus Cypripedium (see letters from Asa Gray, 5 September 1862, 4 and 13 October 1862, and 27 October 1862). See also letter to James Anderson, 23 December [1862].


Modern English biography: Modern English biography, containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died since the year 1850. By Frederick Boase. 3 vols. and supplement (3 vols.). Truro, Cornwall: the author. 1892–1921.


Has forwarded Mitchella roots and Cypripedium.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Cambridge Mass.
Source of text
DAR 165: 125
Physical description
ALS 1p damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3850,” accessed on 20 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10