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Darwin Correspondence Project

To David Forbes   7 February [1869]1

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

Feb 7th.

My dear Mr Forbes

I am much obliged for your note, and am sorry that I troubled you with the pamplet, as you already possessed it. I dare say the man is mad. He wrote to me boasting that he should revolutionize geology.2

With respect to my own book, the subject grows so, that I really cannot say when I shall go to press; but I know that in about two months, I shall have to go again over that part of my MS., where I should like to insert a short abstract of your most interesting observations on the Aymara Indiens, and I should be most grateful if you could let me have it by that time.3 I am glad to hear that you are thinking of publishing a paper on the Indians in extenso.4

I hope that you will be soon well,5 and pray believe me | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. Owing to your letter being addressed to Q. Anne St, I did not receive until yesterday.6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from David Forbes, 30 January 1869.
See letter from David Forbes, 30 January 1869. CD refers to Gustav Jenzsch and Jenzsch 1868. Jenzsch’s letter to CD has not been found.
Descent was published in 1871, by which time CD was able to refer to Forbes’s published work on the Aymara people (D. Forbes 1870).
In his letter of 30 January 1869, Forbes mentioned suffering a bad attack of bronchitis.
Forbes evidently sent his letter to the address of CD’s brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin. In 1869, CD stayed with his brother from 16 to 24 February (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 17, Appendix II)).


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

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Jenzsch, Gustav. 1868. Ueber eine mikroskopische Flora und Fauna krystallinischer Massengesteine (Eruptivgesteine). Leipzig: W. Engelmann.


Asks for DF’s observations on the Aymara Indians for use in writing manuscript [see Descent, 2d ed., pp. 34–5].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
David Forbes
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6606,” accessed on 14 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17