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Darwin Correspondence Project

To L. H. Morgan   11 August [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Aug. 11th

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for your extremely kind letter & your present of the concluding chapter, which I am sure I shall read with the greatest interest.2 In one respect it is fortunate for me that you are compelled to leave England so soon, for I shd. have been much disappointed at not being able to receive you here, & this I could not have done, as I am pledged to a visit for 10 days or a fortnight to a friend, & we all leave home very early on Saturday morning.3

I fully agree with your remarks on the extreme importance of studying the habits & institutions, if they can be so called, of savages. I have had lately to attend a little to this subject, as I have sent my M.S. to the Printers for a work on the “Descent of man”; but I have chiefly to treat of veritably primeval times before man was fully man.—4

With much respect for your admirable investigations, believe me | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from L. H. Morgan, 9 August 1870.
See letter from L. H. Morgan, 9 August 1870 and n. 2.
See letter from L. H. Morgan, 9 August 1870; CD visited William Erasmus Darwin in Southampton from Saturday 13 to 26 August 1870 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD had sent the bulk of the manuscript of Descent to the printers on 9 August (see letter to Mr Dorrell, 9 August 1870).


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


Thanks LHM for concluding chapter [to Systems of consanguinity and affinity of the human family (1871)]. Agrees that it is important to study the habits and institutions of savages.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Lewis Henry Morgan
Sent from
Source of text
Dept of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, University of Rochester
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7300,” accessed on 14 May 2021,

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