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To W. D. Fox   19 March [1855]

Summary

Asks WDF to observe at what age pigeons have tail-feathers sufficiently developed to be counted.

CD is hard at work on his notes for a book with all the facts "for & versus" the immutability of species.

Asks for a young chicken and a nestling common pigeon.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  19 Mar [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 87)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1651

To W. D. Fox   27 March [1855]

Summary

Thanks WDF for his offer of assistance in collecting varieties of poultry. Describes his needs. He will raise his own pigeons.

Often doubts whether, despite all help, the problem of species will not overpower him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  27 Mar [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 88)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1656

To W. D. Fox   26 April [1855]

Summary

Explains more clearly what he is looking for in his work on poultry: relative variation at different ages, the effect of disuse on different parts, breeding between wild and domestic, and degree of fertility of "mongrels of very diverse races".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  26 Apr [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 89)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1675

To W. D. Fox   7 May [1855]

Summary

William Yarrell has assured him that call ducks cross freely with common varieties. CD would like a seven-day duckling and an old one that dies a natural death.

CD is depressed – all his experiments are going wrong, "all nature is perverse and will not do as I wish it". Feels he is getting out of his depth.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  7 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 90)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1678

To W. D. Fox   17 May [1855]

Summary

Asks WDF to induce schoolboys to collect eggs of lizards and snakes for him. He will see whether they float and stay alive on sea-water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  17 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 91)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1683

To W. D. Fox   23 May [1855]

Summary

He may insert his request for lizards’ eggs in Gardeners’ Chronicle.

His study of mongrel chicks is to ascertain whether the young of domestic breeds differ as much as their parents.

Has already sent a communication on means of distribution of plants by sea to Gardeners’ Chronicle [Collected papers 1: 255–8].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  23 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 92)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1686

To W. D. Fox   11 June [1855]

Summary

Thanks WDF for specimens and his great help to CD in his work on variations in young and adult ducks and poultry. Has found feet of tame adult ducks weigh twice as much as those of wild ones.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  11 June [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 93)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1698

To W. D. Fox   27 [June 1855]

Summary

Several seeds have come up after 65–70 days’ immersion in salt water.

Has now a fine collection of pigeons and intends to cross them systematically.

Needs information on mongrel crosses of animals of all kinds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  27 [June 1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 94)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1704

To W. D. Fox   22 [July 1855]

Summary

Describes his method of putting young poultry to death.

Asks questions arising from WDF’s reply about crossed mongrels.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  22 [July 1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 95)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1728

To W. D. Fox   31 July [1855]

Summary

Has received the duck and bantam.

Anxious to get as many facts as possible on crossbreeding of dogs.

Reports on seeds that have germinated after 100 days immersion [in salt water].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  31 July [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 65)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1733

To W. D. Fox   22 August [1855]

Summary

Reports on his collection of skeletons of young and adults of various breeds of fowls and specimens still needed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  22 Aug [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 94a)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1745

To W. D. Fox   14 October [1855]

Summary

CD now has a sufficiently large collection of [skeletons of] chickens to be able to tell how far the young differ proportionally from the old.

He goes on accumulating facts; what he will do with them "remains to be seen".

Attended Glasgow BAAS meeting. "Duke of Argyll spoke excellently" [Rep. BAAS (1855): lxiii–lxxxvi].

Lists his pigeon collection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  14 Oct [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 96)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1766
Document type
letter (12)
Author
Darwin, C. R.disabled_by_default
Addressee
Correspondent
Date
1855disabled_by_default
03 (2)
04 (1)
05 (3)
06 (2)
07 (2)
08 (1)
10 (1)