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Darwin Correspondence Project

To C. L. Balch   15 April 1871

Down Beckenham, Kent, S.E.,

April 15, 1871

To Professor Charles L. Balch, Corresponding Secretary

New York Liberal Club.

Dear Sir:

I am much obliged for your extremely kind note and for the report of your lecture which you have been good enough to send.1 I am aware that I have but few supporters in your country. Should the Liberal Club do me the honor of electing me an honorary member I shall feel much flattered.

Would you be so good as to say to Mr. McDonald2 that I enclose four photographs for his acceptance: but I should fear that it could never be worth his while to execute a bust of me.3

Pray believe me, dear sir, yours faithfully, Ch. Darwin.


Balch’s letter to CD has not been found. Balch gave a lecture about Descent to the New York Liberal Club on 3 March 1871 (New York Times, 4 March 1871, p. 8).
James Wilson Alexander MacDonald.
CD may have enclosed photographs taken in 1869 by Elliot & Fry (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter to A. R. Wallace, 5 December [1869]). His most recent payment for photographs was made to Elliot & Fry on 5 April 1870 (CD’s Account books–cash account (Down House MS)).


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

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


Thanks for the report of CLB’s lecture about Descent to the New York Liberal Club on 3 March 1871.

Sends four photographs of himself for the sculptor J. W. A. MacDonald.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Leland Balch
Source of text
New York World, 8 May 1871

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7687F,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

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