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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Parkes   28 April 1862

Frindsbury | Rochester

28 April 1862

My dear Sir

I saw the Director General on Saturday.1 He thought the best way of carrying out your wishes would certainly be to send out copies of your Memorandum & printed forms to India & the West Indies & to see what the voluntary efforts of the Army Surgeons would do in the matter.2 I enclose a copy (wh. please return) of a circular letter from the Director General which would perhaps meet the case.3 But please to alter or modify it in any way. The Director General has not yet seen it.

I think the Memorandum & tables should both be printed, & that these should be sent to each Presidency & to the W. I.4

10 copies of the Memor.

20 " " table.

So that a total number of 50 copies of the Memorandum & 100 of the table would do.

Or perhaps it would be still better to let the Memorandum head the table & be on the same sheet.

With many apologies for so untidy a form I forward one for your consideration, but probably you will be able to arrange one much better—

I enclose a paper by Dr. Beddoe of Bristol which may perhaps interest you— it has just reached me— would you kindly return it to me.5

Pray excuse this very hurried note | & Believe me | very sincerely yours | E A. Parkes.

We must put your name in. Without it nothing will be done— When the Med. Officers know you wish the investigations, they are much more likely to do it.

CD annotations

3.1 Or … sheet. 3.2] ‘Letter on one side | Dedication— | Is the D. Gen letter to be printed’ added pencil


James Brown Gibson was the director-general of the Army Medical Department.
See letter from George Busk, 1 April 1862, and letter from E. A. Parkes, 8 April 1862.
The enclosure has not been found.
West Indies. The term ‘presidency’ was applied to each of the three divisions of the East India Company’s territory, Bengal, Madras, and Bombay; the administration of these territories was transferred to the Crown in 1858 (OED).
Beddoe 1862. See letter from E. A. Parkes, 8 April 1862. CD’s heavily annotated copy of Beddoe 1862 is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Beddoe, John. 1862. On the relation of temperament and complexion to disease. British Medical Journal 1 (1862): 431–4.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


The Director-General of the Army Medical Department [J. B. Gibson] agrees to have CD’s circular distributed to Army surgeons in India and the West Indies, with reply being voluntary. [See Descent 1: 244–5 n.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Edmund Alexander Parkes
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 174.1: 24
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3521,” accessed on 14 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10