skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Benjamin Silliman   26 February 18401


Mr. Darwin presents his compliments to Prof. Silliman and trusts that Prof. Silliman will excuse the liberty Mr. D. has taken in enclosing a letter on the subject of whirlwinds to be forwarded by any opportunity to Mr. Redfield whose address is unknown to Mr. D.2 Mr. Darwin hopes that Prof. Silliman received some time since a copy of his ‘Journal of Researches during the voyage of the Beagle’3 which he took the liberty of sending him as a mark of respect.


The date is given in the sale catalogue.
William C. Redfield was a saddler, harness maker, and self-taught meteorologist. His articles on storms and hurricanes in the American Journal of Science and Arts (Redfield 1831 and 1834) became classics (DAB, DSB). The letter to Redfield, dated 24 February [1840], is printed in Correspondence vol. 2. See also ibid., letter to W. C. Redfield, [22 December 1840].
Journal of researches was first published in 1839 as volume 3 of Narrative, with the title Journal and remarks. See Freeman 1977, pp. 31–2. Silliman acknowledged receipt of the volume in his letter to CD of 7 April 1840 (Correspondence vol. 2).


Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Redfield, William C. 1831. Remarks on the prevailing storms of the Atlantic coast of the the North American states. American Journal of Science and Arts 20: 17–51.


Asks that a letter on tornados be forwarded to W. C. Redfield. Hopes Silliman received a copy of Journal of Researches.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Benjamin Silliman, Sr
Source of text
Gallery of History (dealers) (4 December 1996)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 557F,” accessed on 15 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)