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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   14 June [1861]1

Down. Bromley. Kent. S.E.

June 14th

My dear Sir

I send by this post my M.S. on Fowls:2 you will find the reading a tough & dull job.— The notes are pinned on the back. You will have lots of time for I shall be away about 8 weeks.3 Any very short corrections or doubts might be marked on margin; any longer remarks had better be on separate sheet, with reference to a pencil cross (x) & my page.— The Synopsis of characters will perhaps require closest attention.

Please observe that the style is not yet corrected. I have made several statements which I shd. not have ventured on, had I not known that you would kindly look the M.S. over. Moreover I hope to add & correct from further information which you will obtain for me.—

Please keep the M.S. in some shut & safe place.— It took me 8 weeks to write!!4

Now forgive me for a bit of business: I enclose a cheque for five guineas, which perhaps you will think sufficient just to remunerate you for loss of time in looking over the M.S. & for the observations which you have already been so good to make for me.—5

Will you please acknowledge the safe receipt of the M.S. & this note.—

With sincere thanks for all your kindness | believe, my dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

The M.S. is splendidly copied.—6


Dated by the reference to CD’s manuscript on fowls; according to his ‘Journal’ (Appendix II), CD finished writing it on 16 May 1861.
Tegetmeier had agreed to read the chapter on domestic fowls that CD had prepared for inclusion in Variation (see letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 March [1861] and 28 March [1861]).
The Darwins spent eight weeks in Torquay, from 1 July to 27 August 1861 (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
This is also recorded in CD’s ‘Journal’ (see Correspondence vol.9, Appendix II).
An entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) on 13 June 1861 records a payment to Tegetmeier of £5 5s.
CD paid his copyist, Ebenezer Norman, £1 15s. 6d. for copying on 15 June 1861 (CD’s Account book).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Sends MS on fowls for WBT’s inspection.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4533,” accessed on 20 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9