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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Albert Müller   20 May 1868

2, Camden Villas, | Penge. S.E.

May 20. 1868.

Dear Sir!

You have no doubt learned, that my friend Mr. W. Armistead of Leeds died in Feby. last & of course this deplorable event has cut short all hopes, to see a work on Galls out at present.—1

Having long been a modest helpmate of Mr. Armistead in his endeavours, I know by his letters, that you were so kind as to send him a contribution of Indian Galls, & as I have made up my mind to pursue this study & am promised Mr. Armistead’s papers, (tho’ his collection is not accessible to me), I shall be thankful, if you would kindly remember this, when the opportunity occurs & extend to me that support you so readily granted to my late lamented friend.—2

Whether the following fact is novel to you or not, I repeat it, to make sure of either case.—

A relation of mine, a Captain formerly in the P. & O. Co.,3 tells me, that in China only unicoloured animals, such as dogs, cats, rats etc. are brought to market, as the natives have a great objection to use partycoloured animals for food & in fact destroy them in the litter.—

Would not this tend to render a breed all of one colour?

I am, | Dear Sir, | your’s sincerely | Albert Müller

Charles Darwin Esqre.


Wilson Armistead published several papers on gall insects, but his book on the subject was unfinished at the time of his death in 1868 (Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers, Entomologist 4 (1868–9): 49).
No correspondence between CD and Armistead has been found, but CD told Benjamin Dann Walsh that he had sent Armistead a collection of galls from Ceylon (Sri Lanka; see Correspondence vol. 14, letter to B. D. Walsh, [19] April [1866]).
The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company had been sailing to Hong Kong since 1845 (Rabson and O’Donoghue 1988, p. 17).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers: Catalogue of scientific papers (1800–1900). Compiled and published by the Royal Society of London. 19 vols. and index (3 vols.). London: Royal Society of London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1867–1925.


Wilson Armistead’s death cut short his work on galls, but Müller is continuing it.

In China only uni-coloured animals are sold for meat, the rest are killed in the litter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Albert Müller
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 171: 282
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6191,” accessed on 26 February 2020,

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