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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   15 February [1868]1

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

Feb. 15.

My dear Sir

Many thanks for your note.2 I shall be very much obliged if you will tabulate the Race-Horses; but I can accept this only on one condition, that you keep a rough memorandum of time consumed (& such work always takes more time than one expects) & have the kindness to tell me what you shd think a fair remuneration supposing that you had spent equal time in writing a Review or an account of an exhibition.3 Will you oblige me thus far; I do not think it can be any more disagreeable to you to do this than to write a Review for the Quarterly Journal.—

I trust to your not doing the work in a hurry, & if (as I no doubt shall) publish the results I shd like to say that “Mr Tegetmeier has had the kindness to calculate the birth of .... . . from .... . . during the years .... .... …” &c &c &c &c

On same principle & terms will you undertake the Greyhounds; & if so I will not myself tabulate (for I am hard worked) the C. Calendar, but will return it as soon as I have a line from you.—4 It wd. be well not to undertake at once the cattle; for I have an idea that the results on large scale have been published by Ld Spencer or Tessier.—5

It would be well to keep each year separate, as well as to give a grand total.

In a month or two’s time wd do very well; but of course I shd like to hear result, as soon as any one animal was finished. You could thus occupy any spare half-days, when you did not happen to have your hands full. Many thanks about Salmon: I will write to M Buist.—6

Will you remember & ask about Pigeons; though a general impression could only be thus acquired, & so with fowls. & if possible Ducks.7

The whole edit. of my Book of 1500 copies was sold in a week! & a new edit is now printing off.8 But the Public will soon find out that it is dull.—

Your works do not require advertising, but I am pleased to think that I shall aid a little this way—9

Yours very | sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I shall be in London in beginning of March & we must meet.—10


The year is established by the reference to the publication of Variation.
See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, [before 15 February 1868] and n. 5. CD had paid Tegetmeier for his assistance on previous occasions (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 6, letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 June [1856], and Correspondence vol. 14, letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, [after 24 January 1866]).
On the sales and second printing of Variation, see the letter from John Murray, 6 February [1868].
CD had cited Tegetmeier’s Poultry book (Tegetmeier 1867) in Variation. Tegetmeier had requested that CD cite this recent edition of the Poultry book, rather than a previous one (Wingfield and Johnson 1856–7). See Correspondence vol. 14, letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 January [1866].
CD was in London from 3 March to 1 April 1868 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II)).


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

Tegetmeier, William Bernhard. 1867. The poultry book: comprising the breeding and management of profitable and ornamental poultry, their qualities and characteristics; to which is added ‘The standard of excellence in exhibition birds’, authorized by the Poultry Club. London and New York: George Routledge & Sons.

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


Is much obliged that WBT will undertake tabulation of sex ratios in racehorses, greyhounds, and cattle.

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 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5879,” accessed on 24 May 2024,

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