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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. C. Redfield    May 1841


May 1841

To Charles Darwin Esqe

Sec. Geol. Soc. London. 12 Gower St

Dear Sir

This will be handed you by my friend John Blunt Esqe of this city, who I beg leave to recommend to your acquaintance1

Mr Blunt has kindly offered to hand over to you a copy of the last geological report made under the authority of of the state of Newyork.2 It is less ample than the previous reports of progress which have been made in the course of the survey, and will probably be succeeded in the course of next year by the full and final report.

The late meeting of the Association of American geologists held at Philadelphia on the first week in April was attended with a fine spirit and feelings of deep interest on the part of its members. Some expectation had been indulged by gentlemen engaged in the surveys of our extensive Silurian formations, of meeting with Mr Murchison on this occasion.3

I venture to send you also a few copies of my short paper on the tornado which passed across the State of New Jersey in June 1835; being nearly the same as published in the January number of the Lond. and Ed. Phil. Magazine.4 As this tornado was, by experienced seamen who saw it pronounced to be a veritable water spout, I have thought that a set of determinate observations upon its whirling action might not be unacceptable to some of your naval or scientific friends. I have on hand several other cases of this kind which have not been printed.

I am dear sir very respectfully yours | Wm. C. Redfield


Possibly a member of the Blunt family that owned a publishing company in New York specialising in naval shipping charts. Redfield’s meteorological work led him to advocate reforms in shipping technology.
Several numbers from the series ‘Communications from the governor concerning the geological survey of the state’ of New York, some of which were inscribed by Redfield, are in DAR 136 and 137.
Roderick Impey Murchison had published his Silurian system in 1839 (R. IMurchison 1839).
Redfield 1841. Redfield sent CD a copy of an earlier work on whirlwinds (Redfield 1839), in which CD had been much interested (see Correspondence vol. 2, letter to W. C. Redfield, 24 February [1840]).


Murchison, Roderick Impey. 1839. The Silurian system, founded on geological researches in the counties of Salop, Hereford, Radnor, Montgomery, Caermarthen, Brecon, Pembroke, Monmouth, Gloucester, Worcester, and Stafford; with descriptions of the coal-fields and overlying formations. 2 pts. London. [Vols. 4,7]

Redfield, William C. 1841. Remarks relating to the tornado which visited New Brunswick in the State of New Jersey, June 19, 1835, with a plan and schedule of the prostrations observed on a selection of its track. London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 18: 20-29.


Is sending through John Blunt a copy of the last geological report of the state of New York along with a short paper on the tornado that passed through the state of New Jersey in June 1835.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 598A,” accessed on 29 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7 (Supplement)