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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   18 [December 1866]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Sir

I return the enclosed with thanks.—2 I fully believe in the statement, but I have facts enough & this statement is anonymous. I had overlooked about Guinea-fowl & am obliged to you for calling my attention to it, for though I give only one paragraph to the Guinea-fowl, I shd have been vexed to have blundered about its parentage3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S I shall very soon now be able to return your 2 or 3 skulls, which I have kept for so enormous a time.—4


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 15 December [1866].
The enclosure has not been found.
CD refers to skulls of the white-crested Polish fowl and the horned fowl. He had borrowed Tegetmeier’s collection of fowl skulls in 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 25 February [1861] and 1 March [1861]). He sent the skulls of the white-crested Polish and the horned fowl to George Brettingham Sowerby Jr in October 1866 to assist Sowerby in making corrections to plates for Variation (see letter to G. B. Sowerby, 19 October [1866]). He returned the skulls to Tegetmeier in January 1867 (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 6 January [1867]). CD included illustrations of these skulls in Variation 1: 262, 265.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Thanks for calling his attention to ancestry of guinea-fowl.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5311,” accessed on 30 November 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14