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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. W. Bates   6 February 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb 6 1874

My dear Bates

Will you be so kind as to send me, addressed “to Orpington Station Kent S.E.R.”, the following books which I find in your catalogue.1

“Jarves. Hist. of the Sandwich I’s”2

“Ellis Narrative, with remarks on S.I.”3

(N.B. please to observe whether S.I. means Sandwich I.s, for Polynesian researches are here entered on yr catalogue by mistake)4

“Simpson— The Sandwich I.s” )

& Progress of events”. )5

“Cheever— Life in the Sandwich I.s”6

“Hill— Travels to the S.I.”7

This makes 5 books, & I do not know whether you can stretch your power so as to lend me so many; but do if you can, & they shall be returned soon—

yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I want to hunt for history of Infanticide in Sandwich Isls. & for population returns.— I have now met with those quoted, but I want the originals.—

P.S. Do I not owe the Society the price of the Classed Catalogue of Books?—


Bates was assistant secretary of the Royal Geographical Society of London (ODNB). CD was working on the second edition of Descent (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD added information from the census of the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) to Descent 2d ed., p. 186; he cited Jarves 1843 on pp. 187, 257.
CD cited Ellis 1826 in Descent 2d ed., pp. 257, 592.
CD was consulting the Classified catalogue of the library of the Royal Geographical Society (G. M. Evans 1871), which included Ellis 1853 (Polynesian researches … in the Society and Sandwich Islands) under the heading Sandwich Islands, as well as under the heading Polynesia.
CD did not cite A. Simpson 1843 in Descent 2d ed.
CD cited Cheever 1851 in Descent 2d ed., pp. 187 n. 43, 257 n. 98.
CD did not cite Hill 1856 in Descent 2d ed.


Cheever, Henry T. 1851. Life in the Sandwich Islands: or, the heart of the Pacific, as it was and is. London: Richard Bentley.

Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

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

Ellis, William. 1826. Narrative of a tour through Hawaii, or, Owhyhee; with remarks on the history, traditions, manners, customs, and language of the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands. London: the author.

Ellis, William. 1853. Polynesian researches during a residence of nearly eight years in the Society and Sandwich Islands. New edition. 4 vols. London: Henry G. Bohn.

Evans, Godfrey M. 1871. Classified catalogue of the library of the Royal Geographical Society, to December, 1870. London: John Murray.

Hill, S. S. 1856. Travels in the Sandwich and Society Islands. London: Chapman and Hall.

Jarves, James Jackson. 1843. History of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands: embracing their antiquities, mythology, legends, discovery by Europeans in the sixteenth century, re-discovery by Cook, with their civil, religious and political history from the earliest traditionary period to the present day. London: Edward Moxon.

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.

Simpson, Alexander. 1843. The Sandwich Islands: progress of events since their discovery by Captain Cook. Their occupation by Lord George Paulet. Their value and importance. London: Smith, Elder and Co.


Orders five works on the Sandwich Islands from the Royal Geographical Society Library for his investigation of infanticide and population trends there.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Walter Bates
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Geographical Society
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9267,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22