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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Jacob Heinrich Schmick   12 November 1870


The undersigned begs for the honour of being allowed to submit to your judgment two small books of his, in which he has developped and supported by facts a new theory on the great changes of the earth’s surface.1

This theory, the author hopes, will attract your kind attention so much the more, as it does entirely away with one objection made to your incomparable ‘Mutation of Species’, viz. the interruptions and want of continuance observable in the fossil remains of anti-diluvian organic life.2 According to this new theory stoppages of many thousands of years must necessarily have occurred in the animal and vegetable life of the same localities, must be observable in the sudden transitions of petrefacts and so lead to the opinion, as if new creations had taken place; whereas an uninterrupted line of development must exist, and will be seen as soon as we are able to follow up the alternation of strata of both the hemispheres of the earth.

Hoping you will in due time take a little notice of these two books and have the kindness to communicate to the author your opinion about them, he signs as | Your | most ob. serv. | Dr. Schmick, | Professor in the Realschule.3


Nov. 12th 1870.

(Trutzenberg 68)


Copies of Schmick 1869 and 1871 are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL; both are annotated.
CD discussed the imperfection of the fossil record in Origin, pp. 279–311.
The Realschule was a secondary school that developed in the mid eighteenth century in Germany, with a greater emphasis on the natural sciences (EB).


EB: The Encyclopædia Britannica. A dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. 11th edition. 29 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1910–11.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Schmick, Jacob Heinrich. 1869. Die Umsetzungen der Meere und die Eiszeiten der Halbkugeln der Erde, ihre Ursachen und Perioden. Cologne: M. DuMont-Schauberg’schen Buchhandlung.


Sends CD two books outlining a new geological theory. Believes his theory explains the discontinuities in the fossil record.

Letter details

Letter no.
Jacob Heinrich Schmick
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 55
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7368,” accessed on 19 July 2024,

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