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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Edwards   15 July [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 15

Dear Sir

I am much obliged to you for having sent me the account of the Mexiccan ant, about which I had read something before.2

Your facts are most wonderful & interesting.

Dear Sir | yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Edwards 1873 (see n. 2, below).
CD refers to Myrmecocystus mexicanus and Edwards’s ‘Notes on the honey-making ant of Texas and New Mexico’ (Edwards 1873). See also Origin, pp. 238–9. In his unpublished ‘big book’ on species, CD cited Wesmael 1838 for information on ants (see Natural selection, p. 369).


Edwards, Henry. 1873. Notes on the honey-making ant of Texas and New Mexico. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 5: 72–75. [Reprinted in American Naturalist 7: 722–6.]

Natural selection: Charles Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975.

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.

Wesmael, M. 1838. Sur une nouvelle espèce de fourmi du Mexique. Bulletins de l’Académie royale des sciences et belles-lettres de Bruxelles 5: 766–71.


HE’s facts about the Mexican ant [Myrmecocystus mexicanus] are "most wonderful & interesting".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Edwards
Sent from
Source of text
Natural History Museum, Library and Archives (General Special Collections MSS DAR A6)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8978,” accessed on 4 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21