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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   1 June 1870

42 Rutland Gate SW.

June 1. 1870

My dear Darwin

Though I have no new litter to report, & shall only have one before the end of this month, I do not like to let more time go by, without heartily thanking you for your helpful & encouraging letter.1 I will not trouble you with details now, but simply say that I feel sure unless some unexpected disaster to my stock should arise, I shall have a very complete set of experiments finished before August.

My bucks have been heavily re-transfused & I have a doe in the same state. Also I shall have all the combinations, extreme & intermediate of pure and tranfused bucks with pure & transfused does.

I find I cannot manage pigeons for want of a dove cot & dare not try dogs lest the Zoolog: Gardens shd. be alarmed by the noise and I should be extruded.2

But notwithstanding this I can assure you that I have the matter firmly enough in hand. and will be guided by the results, as to the extent of future work.

De-fibrinised blood3 is my salvation. I literally put into my silver grays during one operation as much blood as I can get from the divided throats of two rabbits each the same size as the patient. & I have 3 bucks who have undergone two operations (but unluckily the earlier ones were far less succesful)

Very sincerely yours | Francis Galton


CD’s letter to Galton has not been found. Galton’s last known letter to CD is dated 12 May 1870. Galton was testing CD’s hypothesis of pangenesis by transfusing blood from rabbits of one colour into rabbits of another and observing the colour of later offspring. See letter from Francis Galton, 15 March 1870 and n. 2, and Galton 1871.
Galton was carrying out his experiments in the Zoological Gardens, Regent’s Park, London.
On the process of ‘defibrinisation’, see the letter from Francis Galton, 8 April 1870 and n. 4.


Galton, Francis. 1871. Experiments in pangenesis, by breeding from rabbits of a pure variety, into whose circulation blood taken from other varieties had previously been largely transfused. [Read 30 March 1871.] Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 19 (1870–1): 393–410.


Thanks CD for his help and encouragement in his series of experiments [to test Pangenesis].

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: 19–20
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7212,” accessed on 18 April 2021,

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