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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Fordman   4 December [1873]

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Dec. 4th

My dear Sir

I thank you for your extremely kind note, which has pleased me much.—1

I am utterly perplexed what to think about the printed statement (like those published by Col. Sleeman in reference to the same district) in regard to children brought up by wolves.—2 I cannot quite disbelieve the accounts, & yet I can by no means believe them.—

With my thanks, I remain, | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


Fordman’s letter has not been found.
William Henry Sleeman’s account of wolves nurturing children in their dens ([Sleeman] 1852) was reprinted in the Zoologist 3d ser. 12 (1888): 87–98. Sleeman had summarised several reports of children found in wolf dens in the Sultanpur district in northern India.


[Sleeman, William Henry.] 1852. An account of wolves nurturing children in their dens. By an Indian official. Plymouth: Jenkin Thomas.


Thanks RF for his kind note; cannot quite believe or disbelieve stories of children raised by wolves.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Fordman
Sent from
DE 4 73
Source of text
Massachusetts Historical Society (Grenville H. Norcross Autograph Collection)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9170,” accessed on 15 April 2024,

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