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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Alexander Agassiz   22 October 1870


Oct. 22, 1870.

My dear Mr. Darwin:—

Hearing you are in town, I write to ask you if you will allow me to come and bid you good-bye before we sail.1 I go to Ireland on Thursday next, in the evening, to see the plunder of the last Porcupine Expedition,2 but any time you can receive me before that it would be a great pleasure for me to see you again before I leave this side of the Atlantic, where I have had such a charming reception and have I trust learned a good deal which will not come amiss in America.

With the kindest remembrances of Mrs.  Agassiz and myself to Mrs. Darwin and your family, believe me always | Yours very truly | Alex Agassiz.


Alexander Agassiz and his family had been travelling in Europe for over a year and would soon return to Boston (G. R. Agassiz ed. 1913, pp. 97–114); he and his wife, Anna Russell Agassiz, had already visited Down on or shortly before 1 December 1869, and would visit Down again before returning (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter to Fritz Müller, 1 December [1869]), and Dobbs 2005, p. 105).
During the summer of 1870, HMS Porcupine dredged off the coasts of Spain and Portugal, and in the Mediterranean (C. W. Thomson 1873, pp. 82–196). The collections from the Porcupine were evidently with Charles Wyville Thomson, at Queen’s College, Belfast (see C. W. Thomson 1873, G. R. Agassiz ed. 1913, p. 113, and ODNB).


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

Dobbs, David. 2005. Reef madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the meaning of coral. New York: Pantheon Books.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Asks whether he may see CD before leaving England.

Letter details

Letter no.
Alexander Agassiz
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
G. R. Agassiz ed. 1913, p. 113

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7349,” accessed on 17 April 2021,

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