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To John Scott   8 January [1864]

Summary

Glad correspondent’s paper went well.

Poor health and much work forces CD to be brief.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  8 Jan [1864]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13882

From John Scott   11 November 1862

Summary

CD is mistaken in considering Acropera unisexual, with only male flowers [Orchids, pp. 203–10]. JS has successfully fertilised two A. loddigesii flowers. One is ripening. Dissection of the other shows the pollen accomplishes fertilisation without contacting any stigmatic surface. Abortive ovules found in flowers that did not become fertilised when pollinated. JS suggests Acropera has both unisexual male and hermaphrodite flowers.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 Nov 1862
Classmark:  DAR 177: 77
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3800

To John Scott   12 November [1862]

Summary

Discusses whether or not "male" Acropera bear fruit. JS’s interpretation of Acropera pollination is ingenious. Pollen-tubes of some cleistogamous flowers germinate in the anthers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  12 Nov [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B7–10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3805

From John Scott   15 November [1862]

Summary

Appreciates CD’s acknowledging his letter and his comments on Acropera. Will send CD the Acropera capsule which is now maturing.

Experimenting on vegetable parthenogenesis.

Structure of Acropera.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 Nov [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 78
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3808

To John Scott   19 November [1862]

Summary

Praises JS’s experimenting.

Has he ever studied the relative fertility of varieties? CD very interested in this subject.

Discusses Acropera.

Wants to quote JS on Zea [Variation 1: 321].

CD sends his Primula paper [Collected papers 2: 45–63].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  19 Nov [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B11–B14, DAR 147: 431
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3814

From John Scott   [20 November – 2 December 1862]

Summary

JS does not fully accept natural selection.

Has never raised oxlips from cowslips or primroses; reports of such must be cases of crossing.

Discusses relative fertility of varieties, self-fertility of hybrids, and plans for experiments on enhanced hybrid fertility.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [20 Nov – 2 Dec 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 79
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3815

To John Scott   3 December [1862]

Summary

JS’s facts on Primula are new to CD.

In Linum CD has also found dimorphic and non-dimorphic species.

Plans to publish next autumn on successive homomorphic generations in Primula.

"Fluctuating forms" due to culture.

Urges JS to publish.

Lobelia functionally monoecious.

Where did JS publish on Clivia hybrids? Did he count parent and cross seeds, as Gärtner shows is necessary?

CD has done large experiments on artificially fertilised cowslips. They never resemble oxlips.

Would welcome detailed criticism of natural selection by a careful observer like JS. Most criticism worthless. Expects a great deal from Lyell’s reaction.

Suggests JS do orchid experiment to see if rostellum can be penetrated by pollen.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  3 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B60–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3844

From John Scott   6 December [1862]

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Summary

JS not ready to publish on Primula.

Some of his objections to natural selection are based on belief that plants with separate sexes are less variable than those in which sexes are confluent (as in ferns).

Sends his paper on fern varieties [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 2d ser. 16 (1862): 209–27].

Will soon read paper on Drosera irritability [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 2d ser. 17 (1863): 317–18].

How does CD explain capricious distribution of irritability among plants?

P. scotica’s non-dimorphism is native.

Beginning Laelia experiments shortly.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 108: 182a–d
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3847

To John Scott   11 December [1862]

Summary

Criticises style of JS’s fern paper [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 2d ser. 16 (1862): 209–27].

JS’s remark on "the two sexes counteracting variability in the product of the one" is new to CD.

Does the female [fern?] plant always produce female by parthenogenesis?

They seem to work on same subjects; CD has much material on Drosera.

Does not understand JS’s objections to natural selection.

Offers to suggest experiments.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  11 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B37, B49–52
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3853

From John Scott   17 December [1862]

Summary

Thanks for Journal of researches and Origin.

Thanks CD for comments on his fern paper [see 3847 and 3853]; has great difficulty in expressing his ideas.

Discusses inheritance and variation.

Asks CD for an account of the experiments he would like JS to perform.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3865

To John Scott   19 December [1862]

Summary

JS should be proud of his paper ["Nature of the fern-spore", Edinburgh New. Philos. J. 2d ser. 16 (1862): 209–27].

CD has just found that JS’s observations on the confluence of two sexes causing variability were independently confirmed by Huxley.

CD has always suspected a fundamental difference between buds and ovules.

Asks for examples of "bud-variation" or "sports".

Asks JS to test germination of pollen on rostellum of Laelia.

Offers JS money for experimental supplies, e.g., netting, to keep insects out of flowers.

Encloses an outline of crossing experiments with Lythraceae, Primula, Pelargonium, and others, which he feels would be valuable.

Note on melastomids.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  19 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B35–6, B64–5, B80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3868

From John Scott   6 January 1863

Summary

Sends Primula scotica and P. farinosa.

So far cannot fertilise Gongora atropurpurea although it is similar to Acropera luteola.

Experimenting on intergeneric hybrids to test CD’s view that sterility is not a special endowment.

Scott’s personal history.

Acropera capsule grows.

Plans for experiments CD has suggested on Primula, peloric Antirrhinum, and Verbascum.

Asks about Gärtner’s experiments on maize.

Aware of Anderson-Henry’s failures.

Through kindness of J. H. Balfour and James McNab, enjoys facilities for research. JS is in charge of the propagating department. Balfour almost engaged him to be superintendent of the Madras Horticultural Garden.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Jan 1863
Classmark:  DAR 177: 81, 83
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3904

To John Scott   8 January [1863]

Summary

CD’s respect for JS’s indomitable work and interesting experiments increases steadily.

His gratitude for the primulas and the astonishing Gongora specimen.

Asks JS’s opinion about crossing a primrose with the pollen of a wild cowslip and of a cultivated polyanthus.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  8 Jan [1863]
Classmark:  Transactions of the Hawick Archæological Society (1908): 67
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3908F

From John Scott   16 January 1863

Summary

Experiments to cut Laelia stigma from rostellum and then to fertilise rostellum are baffled by "a latent instinctive power". Somehow the pollen-tubes find their way to the style.

Suggests CD study variation in ferns.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  16 Jan 1863
Classmark:  DAR 177: 82
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3921

To John Scott   21 January [1863]

Summary

Urges JS to publish on orchid pollen-tubes.

Suggests comparing stigmatic tissue of sterile hybrids and fertile parent; he would expect hybrid plant’s cell contents not to be coagulated after 24 hours in spirits of wine.

Suggests JS coat orchid stigmas with plaster of Paris for his work on rostellar germination.

Asks for list of "bud-variation" cases; CD has devoted a chapter to the subject.

Inquiries about I. Anderson-Henry’s observational competence.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  21 Jan [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B56–7, B75–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3934

To John Scott   16 February [1863]

Summary

Tells JS Acropera capsule should be left to grow.

JS was correct on "bud-variation" in fern frond.

Does not believe Primula structure necessarily related to dioecism, but the difference in fertility of the two forms forced him to admit the possibility.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  16 Feb [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B55, B81–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3991

From John Scott   18 February [1863]

Summary

Sends Acropera capsule for CD to dissect.

Will try to raise Acropera from seed (never done before in Britain) to examine its sexual forms.

Studying primroses, parthenogenesis, and reproduction of some cryptogams.

Received maize varieties from CD.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  18 Feb [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 84
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3997

To John Scott   20 [February 1863]

Summary

Thanks JS for the very large Acropera capsule. CD has perhaps made a blunder about the sex of Acropera.

JS was right that successive homomorphic generations of Primula breed true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  20 [Feb 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B20–1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4003

From John Scott   3 March 1863

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Summary

JS criticises natural selection as based on an innate "continuously watchful selective principle".

Seeks seed of wild Rocky Mountain maize.

What is CD’s view on origin of maize?

Seeks information on self-sterility of Passiflora and Lobelia.

Weeping habit of trees.

Intended to say bisexual plants presented more established varieties than unisexual, not that they are more variable.

Explains his opinion that homomorphically fertilised Primula will produce only their own form. Is trying homomorphic crosses with different coloured Primula varieties.

Asks to read Asa Gray’s 2d review of Orchids.

Has finally successfully fertilised Gongora, but it was done by unnatural means.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Mar 1863
Classmark:  DAR 108: 179
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4021

To John Scott   6 March 1863

Summary

Answers JS’s criticism of natural selection, which he doubts JS understands. CD does not believe in an "innate selective principle".

To understand "utility" JS should read CD on correlation.

Origin of maize: no longer thinks husked form was wild because of Asa Gray’s evidence on its variability.

Has information from Thomas Rivers on weeping habit in trees.

JS’s experiments on coloured primroses.

Encloses bibliographical note on Passiflora.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  6 Mar 1863
Classmark:  DAR 93: B66–8, B71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4031
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