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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Kemp   22 November [1843]

Down near Bromley Kent

Nov 22d

Dear Sir

I am pleased how good a case your facts have make.— Your last letter with an account of your manner of planting &c &c was very useful.—1 You will perceive the bearing of some of your facts by reading the article on Agyptian Wheat in the accompanying Gardeners Chroni⁠⟨⁠cle⁠⟩⁠ which please to return to me.—2 You will think I have greatly curtailed your paper, I am certain that a short paper with no theory is desirable in this case. Please to make any corrections o⁠⟨⁠r⁠⟩⁠ remarks or improvements on a separate piece of paper, & I will introduce them.3 I have written to Professor Henslow to le⁠⟨⁠arn⁠⟩⁠ what your doubtful plant was, & will make ⁠⟨⁠any⁠⟩⁠ alteration which may be desirable—4 I propose to send your paper to the Annals of Natural Histo⁠⟨⁠ry⁠⟩⁠ with a request for its early insertion (proba⁠⟨⁠bl⁠⟩⁠y it can not be admitted for 5 or 6 weeks)5 & for a few copies for yourself— I hope you will be satisfied with my abstract, which I have tak⁠⟨⁠en⁠⟩⁠ pains with & will correct, when in type.— The paper is not geological enough for the Geological Soc.—

Believe me | With good wishes | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

P.S. You will observe that I have introduced a few remarks not in your papers, which I thought desirable, which I do not doubt you will excuse6


See Correspondence vol. 2, letter from William Kemp, 10 November 1843. Kemp explained in this letter that he had planted his seeds in rows.
An article about wheat grown from seeds found in Egyptian mummies’ tombs was printed in Gardeners’ Chronicle on 11 November 1843, pp. 787–8.
CD’s draft of the paper (Kemp 1844) is in DAR 50: 1–6. It is primarily made up of passages extracted from the letters from William Kemp of 2 October 1843, 17 October 1843, 4 November 1843, and 10 November 1843 (Correspondence vol. 2).
CD refers to John Stevens Henslow. See Correspondence vol. 2, letter to J. S. Henslow, [4 November 1843].
The paper was published in Annals and Magazine of Natural History in February 1844 (Kemp 1844).
For CD’s draft, with alterations, see Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix VI.


Kemp, William. 1844. An account of some seeds buried in a sand-pit which germinated. By Mr William Kemp of Galashiels, in a letter to Charles Darwin, Esq. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 13: 89–91.


CD is pleased with how good a case WK’s facts have made.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Kemp
Sent from
22NO22 | 1843
Source of text
Cambridge University Library (MS Add. 10252/21) (gift of Ruth Cramond and David Cramond)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 715F,” accessed on 1 October 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18 (Supplement)