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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Julius von Haast   28 January [1868]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Jan. 28th

My dear Dr. Haast

I thank very sincerely for your letter of Dec 4th & for the Revd James Stacks answers.2 I hope that you will give him my most cordial thanks. Though the answers are few, they are decidedly the best & clearest, I have received from any quarter. I have had no answer with reference to any Polynesian nation, for Malays ought not to be so called.

I hope that you will be so very kind, as to remind him by enclosing to him the printed queries herewith sent, which are a little corrected.3 I shd be very grateful for a little further information from so good an observer as Mr Stack.— Accept yourself my cordial thanks, for I owe these answers wholly to your kindness.

I received some time ago your Report, & ought to have thanked you; but the [truth] is that I live in a constant state of overwork & fatigue. Your observations on the Glaciers are splendid, & your Report was excellently illustrated.—4

Many thanks, also, for the very curious photograph of the skeletons of the gigantic birds: everyone to whom I have showed it has been astonished.5

Most heartily do I wish you all the success in Science & in all other ways, which you so well deserve & believe me, | My dear Dr Haast | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Julius von Haast, 4 December 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15).
With his letter of 4 December 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15), Haast had included replies from James West Stack to CD’s queries on the expression of the emotions. CD had sent a handwritten list of questions with his letter to Haast of 27 February [1867] (ibid.). Stack’s observations of the Maori of New Zealand were reported by CD in Expression.
A printed list of questions had been prepared for CD by Asa Gray in 1867 (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from Asa Gray, 26 March 1867). CD also had a printed list of his own prepared in late 1867 or early 1868; see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix V.
CD refers to Haast’s Report on the headwaters of the Rakaia (Haast 1866); the report contained material on glaciation. See Correspondence vol. 15, letter from Julius von Haast, 4 December 1867. The report has not been found in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. On CD’s interest in evidence of the Pleistocene glacial period in New Zealand, see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Julius von Haast, 22 January 1863, and Correspondence vol. 12, letter from J. D. Hooker, 15 June 1864 and n. 10.
Haast had enclosed a photograph of six skeletons of Dinornis, a genus of large flightless birds native to New Zealand and now extinct, in his letter of 4 December 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15; the photograph is reproduced facing p. 118).


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

Haast, John Francis Julius von. 1866. Report on the head-waters of the Rakaia. Christchurch: government of Canterbury province.


Thanks JvH for J. Stack’s answers [to queries about expression]. Though few, they are the best and clearest he has received. Sends a corrected printed version of queries.

Belatedly thanks JvH for his splendid report on glaciers [missing].

CD lives "in constant state of overwork and fatigue".

Everyone astonished by Dinornis photos.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5808,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16