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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   26 May 1872

42 Rutland Gate SW

May 26/72

My dear Darwin

I feel perfectly ashamed to apply again to you in my recurring rabbit difficulty, which is this—I have (after some losses) got 3 does & 1 buck of the stock you so kindly took charge of, cross circulated & so have means of protracting the experiment to another generation, of breeding from them & seeing if their young shew any signs of mongrelism.1 They do not thrive over well in London, also we could not keep them during Summer at our house, because the servants in charge when we leave, cd. not be trusted with them. Is it possible that any of your men cd. take charge of them & let them breed, seeing if the young shew any colour then killing the litter & breeding afresh, 2 or 3 times over? I would most gladly pay even a large sum,—many times the cost of their maintenance to any man who would really attend to them. Can you help me?

As regards Spiritualism, nothing new that I have seen, since I wrote, for Home & Miss Fox have been both absent.2 I wrote a letter of overtures to Home, when I enclosed yours, but got no reply. I have kept up communication with Crookes & am satisfied that he has the investigation thoroughly in hand & delays publication on grounds of desiring a little more completion of data.3 He is a most industrious taker of notes. How very kind your letter was, about Home. It grieved me much that you had to speak in such terms about your health4

Ever sincerely ys | Francis Galton


CD had looked after some rabbits for Galton in 1871 (see Correspondence vol. 19, letter to Francis Galton, 14 April [1871]).
See letter to Francis Galton, 21 April [1872]. Galton refers to Daniel Dunglas Home and Catherine Fox, mediums.
William Crookes, a chemist and science journalist, was investigating mediums (ODNB); he had published two papers in the Quarterly Journal of Science (Crookes 1870 and 1871) and published a further one in 1874 (Crookes 1874).


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

Crookes, William. 1874. Notes of an enquiry into the phenomena called spiritual, during the years 1870–73. Quarterly Journal of Science n.s. 4: 77–97.

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.


Again seeks help with his rabbits; hopes one of CD’s men can take them.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: A57–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8352,” accessed on 16 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20