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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Parkes   29 June 1862

Frindsbury | Rochester

29 June 1862

My dear Sir

There has been a little delay in the transmission of your papers, as I was unable to go to town for some days after receiving them, & then the Director General had to obtain the sanction of the War Office to send them to India &c, as the rules are very strict against sending any but official letters in the Govt. bag.1

However you will see by the enclosed that the authorities have sanctioned the papers being sent out.2

On talking the matter over with the Director General (Dr. Gibson C.B.) he thought it better that the papers should come back to him instead of to you direct. The great reason for this is that then the Surgeons abroad can send them home officially & without expense to themselves.

I hope some good returns will come of it.

Dr. Gibson has been so kind in this matter & so desirous of meeting your wishes, that I venture to suggest you should write a note to him to thank him for his compliance with your request.3

Excuse my suggestion | & Believe me | My dear Sir | Very sincerely yours | E A. Parkes.

Charles Darwin Esqre


James Brown Gibson was director-general of the Army Medical Department. CD had prepared a questionnaire for army surgeons serving abroad as part of an inquiry about the association between hair colour and susceptibility to disease among the European colonial military (see letter from George Busk, 1 April 1862, and letters from E. A. Parkes, 8 April 1862 and 28 April 1862).
The enclosure has not been found; it may have been one of the printed questionnaires. No copy of this questionnaire has been found; however, the text of the memorandum ‘explaining the object of the enquiry’ is given in Descent 1: 244–5 n. 48 (see letter from E. A. Parkes, 8 April 1862, n. 1). See also letter from George Busk, 1 April 1862 and n. 1.


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


Circulars are being sent to Army surgeons.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edmund Alexander Parkes
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 174.1: 25
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3627,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

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