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To ?   [15 or 22 October 1848]


Thanks for note and enclosure. Has written to [David?] Landsborough to say dried specimen was just what he wanted. Would like some more in spirits.

Very unwell.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  [15 or 22] Oct 1848
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1204

To J. E. Gray   5 [or 6] February 1848


Thanks the Trustees of the British Museum for entrusting to him the collection of Cirripedia and allowing him to disarticulate one specimen of each species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  [5 or 6] Feb 1848
Classmark:  British Museum (Central Archive ‘Original Papers’, vol. XXXIX)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1153

To James Smith   6 February [1848]


Thanks for present of fossil Balani.

Thanks also for JS’s request to [David?] Landsborough to send barnacle specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Smith
Date:  6 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Glasgow City Archives (396/TD1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1153F

To George Robert Waterhouse   [6 February 1848]


Invites GRW to a dinner party with other scientists.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Waterhouse
Date:  [6 Feb 1848]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.69)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1154

To J. E. Gray   [5 or 6 February 1848]


Discusses loan of cirripede specimens from the British Museum and problems of classification. Encloses a note of thanks to be laid before the Trustees [see 1153].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  [5 or 6] Feb 1848
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.72)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1155

To W. C. Williamson   12 February [1848]


CD cannot find the lagoon-island mud that WCW asked about, but he sends other geological specimens he hopes will be interesting.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Crawford Williamson
Date:  12 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1156

To John Phillips   14 February [1848]


Asks for the reference in which JP states that some erratic boulders came from a lower to a higher level. CD is writing a paper ["Transportal of erratic boulders", Collected papers 1: 218–26] in which he believes he has the true explanation. Would like as many instances, with details, as possible.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  14 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1157

From J. D. Hooker   20 February – 16 [March] 1848


Though correspondence has never ebbed so low, CD is constantly in his thoughts.

Observations on cheetahs used as domesticated hunting animals.

Finds geographical barriers sometimes separate species, but also finds species that remain separate where there are no barriers to migration.

Colour "individuates" isolated animal species.

Plains and alpine animal distribution show altitude not strictly analogous to latitude.

Impact of timber cutting on climate has led to extinction of crocodiles.

Will discuss coal formation in letter to Edward Forbes.

CD often asked whether isolated mountains in southern latitudes had closely allied representatives of Arctic and north temperate plants; JDH has found a representative barberry.

Making for Darjeeling via Calcutta.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Feb – 16 [Mar] 1848
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: India letters 1847–51: 52–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1158

To James Clark Ross    25 February [1848]


Thanks for sending cirripedes. Cannot make out the label, so can JCR tell him the bank and the depth. Hopes to keep the specimens for 6 or 8 weeks before returning them.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Clark Ross
Date:  25 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Scott Polar Research Institute (MS 1226/10)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1158A

To John Higgins   28 February [1848]


Arranges to pay subscription on 15 Feb and 16 Aug as requested by Mr Mason.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Higgins
Date:  28 Feb [1848]
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/11)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1159

To Robert Chambers   [14 February – 20 March 1848]


Thanks RC for information on hand-level; he has recommended it in his "Instructions" ["Geology", Collected papers 1: 227–50].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Chambers
Date:  [14 Feb – 20 Mar 1848]
Classmark:  Watt Library, Greenock
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1160

From John Higgins   1 March 1848


Agrees to pay Mr Mason as requested.

Author:  John Higgins
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Mar 1848
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/11)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1161

To John Phillips   7 March [1848]


JP’s reference was clear, but seems to be different from the case cited by W. Hopkins about erratic conglomerate boulders. Asks for more details on the latter. CD does not think much of Hopkins’ paper ["Elevation and denudation of the district of the lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland", Q. J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 4 (1848): 70–98].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  7 Mar [1848]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1162

To John Phillips   [12? March 1848]


Thanks JP for his note and reference. CD’s paper will not deal with the general question of erratics but only their transportal from a lower to a higher level ["The transportal of erratic boulders", Collected papers 1: 218–27]. His notion is that the boulders were transported by coast-ice, not drifting icebergs, and that during the period of transportal the land was subsiding. Can JP tell him whether the raised conglomerate boulders he observed were rounded or angular?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  [12? Mar 1848]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1163

To J. F. W. Herschel   [21 March 1848]


Sends MS of his chapter on geology for Manual [Collected papers 1: 227–50]. Fears it may be too long. Does not much like it but can do no better. After hesitation, has recommended books. Defends his point that mere collection of rock specimens is "of hardly any use to Geology".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Frederick William Herschel, 1st baronet
Date:  [21 Mar 1848]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (HS6: 14)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1164

To Robert Ball   25 March [1848]


Cannot give information about hook. Fuegian women fish without hooks.

Robert Mallet’s suggestion about space for specimens on board men-of-war forwarded to Sir J. Herschel.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Ball
Date:  25 Mar [1848?]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (Fellows' Papers 54.i)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1165

To Richard Owen   [26 March 1848]


Describes his new microscope and its advantages for dissecting. Suggests RO might discuss topic [in his contribution to J. F. W. Herschel, ed., Manual of scientific enquiry (1849)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  [26 Mar 1848]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1166

To William Alexander Baillie Hamilton    28 March [1848]


Sir John Herschel has not received the parcel of "Scientific Instructions", which was posted on the 15th. He requests an accurate search at the Admiralty.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Alexander Baillie Hamilton
Date:  28 Mar [1848]
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (ADM/5580 009075)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1166A

To John Stevens Henslow   [1 April 1848]


Thanks JSH for his address [Address delivered in the Ipswich Museum on 9th March 1848]. Questions a sentence which implies that only the practical use of a scientific discovery makes it worth while. The instinct for truth justifies science without any practical results. Cites his work on cirripedes.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [1 Apr 1848]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A17
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1167

To Richard Owen   [2 April 1848]


Apologises for length of notes of advice for microscopic work.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  [2 Apr 1848]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard (MS Hyde 77: 2. 82. 1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1167F
Document type
letter (84)
01 (7)
02 (13)
03 (7)
04 (6)
05 (12)
06 (7)
07 (9)
08 (4)
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