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To ?   9 October [1856]


Thanks for offer of Helix for experiment. Asks for assistance. Mentions failure of his own experiment involving Helix pomatia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  9 Oct [1856]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1972

To William Bernhard Tegetmeier   1 January [1856]


Will attend the Philoperisteron [pigeon fanciers’ club] if he possibly can.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  1 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 23)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1813

To John Maurice Herbert   2 January [1856]


Thanks JMH for book of poems.

Recalls early days together. He cannot visit due to health.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Maurice Herbert
Date:  2 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.121)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1814

To William Darwin Fox   3 January [1856]


Thanks WDF for his help and reports on progress in "the Cock and Hen line of business". Has written to every quarter of the world for skins of poultry and pigeons.

As for seeds, Hooker and Bentham obstinately refuse to believe they can live even a few years in the ground.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  3 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 86)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1815

To John Stevens Henslow   3 January [1856]


Thanks for JSH’s letter, which has been of real use.

Complains of the trouble caused by reports to Government required of Benefit Clubs.

Interested in case of Canada geese with seed in crop, because means of distribution is now a great hobby.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  3 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A106–A107
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1816

To John Davy   3 January [1856]


Delighted to hear that JD’s research is continuing. CD has heard that JD’s paper will at last be published. He is flattered by the form [as a letter addressed to CD] of communication. [See 1651a and 1819a, published in Phil. Trans. R. S. 146 (1856): 21–9 and Proc. R. S. London 8 (1856–7): 27–33.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Davy
Date:  3 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  David Schulson Autographs, New York (1991)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1816A

From Edward Blyth   8 January [1856]


Encloses "notes for Mr. D" [see 1818] and a memorandum on the wild cattle of southern India [see 1819].

Breeds of silky fowl of China and Malaya. Black-skinned fowl.

Doubts any breed of canary has siskin blood; all remain true to their type.

Wild canary and finch hybrids.

Hybrids between one- and two-humped camels.

Does not regard zebra markings on asses as an indication of interbreeding but as one of the many instances of markings in the young which more or less disappear in the adult.

Crossing of Coracias species at the edges of their ranges.

Regional variations and intergrading between species of pigeons.

Regards the differences in Treron as specific [see Natural selection, p. 115 n. 1].

Gives other instances of representative species or races differing only in certain details of colouring.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A110–13, A117–21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1817

From John Davy   10 January 1856


On the vitality of the ova of the Salmonidae at different stages of development.

Author:  John Davy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Jan 1856
Classmark:  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 8 (1856–7): 27–33
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1819A

To W. B. Tegetmeier   14 January [1856]


Is attempting to get skins of poultry from all quarters of the world. Wants to inspect poultry collections.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  14 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.1: 4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1820

To John Edward Gray   14 January [1856]


Requests that JEG secure the assistance of Samuel Birch in regard to information about varieties of domesticated animals and plants in China. Encloses memorandum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  14 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, correspondence 1826–67: 1490, 1488)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1820A

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [1 February 1856]


Has been invited to see Mr Bult’s pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [1 Feb 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 27)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1821

To John Phillips   18 January [1856]


Discusses chapter [6] on cleavage and foliation in South America. Notes especially cleavage where two series cross and cleavage as basis of foliation in metamorphosed rock. Notes foliation in rocks that have been liquefied by heat. Mentions case described in his "Geology of the Falkland Islands" [Collected papers 1: 203–12]. Discusses relationship of cleavage to beds. Speculations on association between grauwacke and clay-slates.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  18 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.122)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1822

To J. E. Gray   19 January [1856]


Is obliged for JEG’s assistance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Edward Gray
Date:  19 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, correspondence 1826–67: 1491)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1822A

To J. S. Henslow   22 January [1856]


Alphonse de Candolle’s Géographie botanique [raisonnée (1855)] strikes him as a wonderful, admirable work.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  22 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A108–A109
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1823

To Walter Elliot   23 January 1856


Requests WE’s measurements of tigers.

Asks about a work on domestic pigeons in an Eastern language. Will consult [Ayeen Akbery or, the institutes of the Emperor Akber, trans. from Persian by Francis Gladwin, 2 vols. (1777, 1800)].

Asks for specimen skins of domestic pigeons and poultry. [See Variation 1: 205.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Walter Elliot
Date:  23 Jan 1856
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.123)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1824

From Edward Blyth   23 January 1856


Believes the goldfish originates from a wild, gold variety of Chinese carp.

Gallinaceous birds.

Crested turkeys.

EB divides the gallinaceous birds into five families on anatomical distinctions.

Wild dog species of India and Asia; ranges of some species, specific identity of others.

The fauna of the Seychelles.

Breeding of fowls in India and Africa.

Occurrence of turkeys in Africa.

Refers to some of his own papers giving fuller details of points raised previously.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Jan 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A122–A125
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1825

To John Phillips   28 January [1856]


Thanks JP for beautiful book [? The rivers, mountains and sea-coast of Yorkshire, 2d ed. (1855)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  28 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1828

To William Yarrell   6 [February 1856]


"The Pigeons are all quite well".

Sends thanks to Mrs Cotton.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Yarrell
Date:  6 [Feb 1856]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1829

To Samuel Birch   6 February [1856]


Is grateful for SB’s note and assistance. Will call upon him in London in a fortnight.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Birch
Date:  6 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, correspondence 1826–67: 1492)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1829A

From Charles James Fox Bunbury   7 February 1856


Has heard CD is much interested in questions relating to varieties and species. Mentions a case of a seminal variety of Colletia spinosa, described by John Lindley, which appears identical with another wild species of Colletia from S. America. Hopes CD will one day "enlighten us very much" on "the laws of species". There are many different views on the limits of species; M. F. Dunal made 50 species of Solanum which George Bentham considers are all varieties of S. nigrum.

Author:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 160: 374, DAR 205.4: 97
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1830
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