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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   21 November 1871

42 Rutland Gate. S.W.

Nov 21/71

My dear Darwin

I am truly ashamed to have trespassed so long on your kindness, in keeping the rabbits, but until now,—owing to a variety of causes (including an epidemic where the animals are kept) I could not ask for them back.1 Now, all is ready to receive them in University College and I should be much obliged of you wd. instruct your man to send them there. I enclose labels with the address:—

Charles H. Carter


University College

Gower St.


to put on them.2 Mr. Carter will receive them when they arrive. Please tell your man to keep the bucks & does separate and to write bucks on the hamper wh: contains them.

Will you also let me know what I am indebted to you for their feed & keep, including a judicious ‘tip’ to your man.3 I am really most obliged to you. I should have been stranded in this experiment, without the help because I have only 2 of my lots of rabbits alive & they are both out of condition & I doubt if one will live.

The College shuts up at 5 in the afternoon. & nothing can be received after that hour. If that is too early for the carrier, what shall I do?— When may I expect them to arrive?

My rats, have died sadly, but, owing to causes foreign to the effects of the operation. My last living pair, after being united nearly 3 months, were killed last week for the purpose of injection — Dr. Klein kindly did it for me. One animal was injected with blue & the other with red, and vascular union is proved; but the connection was small, however Dr. Klein thinks that with a more protracted connection, the union would have been more complete.4 So I shall go on with vigour

Very sincerely yours | Francis Galton


On Galton’s rabbit experiments, see the letter from Francis Galton, 9 January 1871 and n. 1. Galton had sent CD some rabbits to take care of (see letter from Francis Galton to Francis Darwin, 7 April 1871).
Charles Henry Carter was curator of the anatomical museum at University College, London (Medical directory).
The man may have been Henry Lettington, the gardener at Down who assisted CD with his botanical experiments.
Edward Emmanuel Klein was a histologist at the Brown Sanitary Animal Institute in London (ODNB). Galton’s experiments with rats involved surgically joining two animals so that blood could pass from one to another (see letter from Francis Galton, 13 September 1871).


Medical directory: The London medical directory … every physician, surgeon, and general practitioner resident in London. London: C. Mitchell. 1845. The London and provincial medical directory. London: John Churchill. 1848–60. The London & provincial medical directory, inclusive of the medical directory for Scotland, and the medical directory for Ireland, and general medical register. London: John Churchill. 1861–9. The medical directory … including the London and provincial medical directory, the medical directory for Scotland, the medical directory for Ireland. London: J. & A. Churchill. 1870–1905.

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 that the rabbits CD has kept be sent to him; will continue [transfusion] experiments on rats, but using larger [surgical] connection.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: A35–6
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8080,” accessed on 12 September 2023,

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