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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Warren Stoddard   11 April 1870

St Francisco Col

1870 11— April

Charles Darwin. M.A.

My dear Sir

Your profound and vigorous volumes have given me a new interest in life and I feel like thanking you personall for them. When visiting the Sandwich Islands (in 1869) I re-read them with a new interest awakened by the singular freaks of Nature over there.1 A California peach stone will sprout, develop into a flourishing tree, blossom and give every promise of fruit in those Islands, but the blossoms fall and there has so far been no fruit produced from one. Geraniums and some few other hardy plants thrive in portions of the islands but refuse to blossom at all in the richest soil of other parts of the same Island.

There are a few blonds among the straight-haired Islanders. And I have seen there a leprous woman who had communicated the leprosy to three husbands in succession while she still showed no signs of the plague herself.2 Will you not come over and see us some day   we shall welcome you heartily.

I shall be very proud of your favor if you will send me a line or two in reply to this.

Very truly yours | Chas. Warren Stoddard. | Box 1005: P.O.

The verses are all I have to offer you in the literary way3


Stoddard presumably refers primarily to Variation. The Sandwich Islands are now known as the Hawaiian Islands.
Stoddard later published on the leper colony on Molokai island, Hawaii (Stoddard [1885]).
The verses have not been found.


Stoddard, Charles Warren. [1885.] The lepers of Molokai. Notre Dame, Ind.: ‘Ave Maria’ Press.


Writes of some observations on the Sandwich Islands.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Warren Stoddard
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
San Francisco
Source of text
DAR 177: 258
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7163,” accessed on 8 March 2021,

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