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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. H. Blair   16 March 1871


March 16. 1871.

Dear Sir,

It will give me much pleasure to answer the questions referred to me, but it will not be possible for me to do so at once.1 Indeed I must ask for just so much time as may serve to convince me that my conclusions are just.

The number of Born-Blind is small in comparison to that of the subsequently Blind. Out of about 20 that will enter an Institution, I should say no more than 4 are of this class. We have, so far, only had 4 actually bornblind. In the College at present we have two Born Blind, a〈nd〉 one Blind from the fourteenth day. This latter case is virtually as good as the others. I had two sons of Sir Henry Durand (lately killed in the Punjab) who were born Blind, but they were, also, imbecile.2

I will collect information carefully & write again when able to 〈sp〉eak with something like certainty.

I am | Dear Sir, | yrs faithfully | Robert H Blair.

Charles Darwin Esqre F.R.S.

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘(The [‘ones’ del] gestures specified by | me are then least | likely to occur.)’


Blair refers to Henry Marion Durand, Charles Henry Marion Durand, and Reginald Durand.


Will be pleased to collect information on the blind for CD when time allows. Generally very few (about one quarter) of blind people entering institutions are born blind.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Hugh Blair
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Worcester College for the Blind
Source of text
DAR 160: 195
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7590,” accessed on 9 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19