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To Charles Babbage   [1838]


CD is much obliged for invitations to CB’s parties, but is afraid to accept because he would meet people to whom he has sworn he never goes out.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Babbage
Date:  [1838]
Classmark:  British Library (Add MS 37191: 81)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-351

To Thomas Livingstone Mitchell   [1838]


Sends suggestions for points that would interest geologists in a description of valleys in the Blue Mountains [New South Wales].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Livingstone Mitchell
Date:  [1838]
Classmark:  Mitchell Library, Sydney (Mitchell papers A295-1, vol. VI., Misc. pp.85–8)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-468

To Richard Owen    [January 1838]


Would like to call upon RO to discuss the last engravings sent by George Scharf. CD assumes that the revise of Toxodon [see 395] was received.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  [Jan 1838]
Classmark:  Kenneth W. Rendell (dealer) (1990)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-399A

To Charles Babbage   [21 January 1838]


Asks Babbage to take small parcel to Henslow.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Babbage
Date:  [21 Jan 1838]
Classmark:  British Library (Add MS 37190: 320)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-357

To J. S. Henslow   [21 January 1838]


Sends rock specimen for W. H. Miller. Asks JSH to see whether there is any geology in P. B. Webb and Sabin Berthelot, Histoire naturelle des Îles Canaries [1835–50]. Finds his work on geology growing so large that it will take more than one volume and asks whether this will make publication aid more difficult.

Has accepted Secretaryship of the Geological Society.

Will not come to Cambridge because "as long as I continue well I cannot bear to leave my work for half a day".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [21 Jan 1838]
Classmark:  Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Dreer collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-400

To John Gould   [February 1838]


The publishers [of Zoology] have agreed to 50 plates [for Birds]. Asks JG to decide which are most worthy of being done. Also asks him to see whether Bayfield will undertake [to colour] the birds (and quadrupeds) at something under 5d each.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Gould
Date:  [Feb 1838]
Classmark:  William Patrick Watson (dealer) (April 2014)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-401

Questions for Mr Wynne   [February–July 1838]



Questions on breeding and habits.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  [–] Wynne
Date:  [Feb–July 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 206: 42
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-399

From William Fullerton Lindsay-Carnegie to Charles Lyell   [14 February 1838]


Impressed by CD’s theory [of earthworm action].

Author:  William Fullerton Lindsay-Carnegie
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [14 Feb 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 170: 3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-402

To A. Y. Spearman   16 February 1838


Encloses the account of Smith, Elder & Co. for the first part of "The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle" [Fossil Mammalia].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  16 Feb 1838
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-402A

From John George Children    21 February 1838


In view of the charges directed by Edward Blyth against George R. Gray for gross incivility and discourtesy in discharging his duties as assistant in the zoological department at the British Museum, CD is asked by the Trustees to comment upon his own experience with Gray and to offer his judgment of these charges.

Author:  John George Children
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Feb 1838
Classmark:  Natural History Museum (Archives, Zoology department,
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-402B

To John George Children   22 February [1838]


Testifies to the courtesy and helpfulness of George Gray [assistant at the British Museum]. [See 402b.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John George Children
Date:  22 Feb [1838]
Classmark:  British Museum (Officers’ Reports 20 (1838): 5314)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-402F

From A. Y. Spearman   23 February 1838


Payment of the Smith, Elder & Co. account has been ordered, amounting to the sum of £68.10.10 for the first part of the Zoology.

Author:  Alexander Young Spearman
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Feb 1838
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (Treasury out–letter book T 27/137 p. 443)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-402C

From Robert FitzRoy   26 February 1838


His work [on vol. 2 of Narrative] is going slowly.

Has no objection to anything in CD’s excellent volume. CD should "entertain no further scruple on that subject".

Author:  Robert FitzRoy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Feb 1838
Classmark:  DAR 204: 145
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-403

From William Buckland to the Geological Society of London   9 March 1838


Recommends CD’s paper on "Formation of mould" [Collected papers 1: 49–53; read 1 Nov 1837] be printed in Transactions. Praises it as establishing a new "geological power".

Author:  William Buckland
Addressee:  Geological Society of London
Date:  9 Mar 1838
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/COM/P/4/2/47)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-404

From Robert Bastard James to Charles Lyell   [c. 10 March 1838]


Sends four samples of dust blown on board his ship from the coast of Africa, nearly 400 miles away, during four days in March 1838. Gives careful descriptions and relates the tests he made of it [see Collected papers 1: 200].

Author:  Robert Bastard James
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [c. 10 Mar 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 168: 43
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-405

To J. S. Henslow   [26 March 1838]


Declines Ray Club dinner; too busy with Zoology.

Thanks JSH for presenting his work to Cambridge Philosophical Society.

Asks him to get an answer from W. H. Miller on specimen of crystallised mineral.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [26 Mar 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A1–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-406

To Susan Darwin   [1 April 1838]


FitzRoy is hard at work on his book [Narrative, vol. 2].

CD’s health is improved.

Describes his visit to zoo.

Gives news of E. A. Darwin and Harriet Martineau.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Date:  [1 Apr 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 223: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-407

From Leonard Horner   7 April [1838]


Postpones meeting with CD because he must attend House of Commons for Factory Amendment Act.

Author:  Leonard Horner
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Apr [1838]
Classmark:  DAR 210.8: 1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-408

Notes on marriage   [after 7 Apr 1838]


Published as an appendix to vol. 2 of the Correspondence; see Considers his options for the future. Debates marriage and the best place to live. Feels the need for experiment and direct observation which would be difficult living in London; he "could not go on as Lyell does correcting & adding up new information to old train".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 7 Apr 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 210.8 :1, DAR 210.8: 2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-409

To John Gould   [13 April 1838]


Gives best wishes for Gould’s trip to Australia.

Notes on Synallaxis behaviour.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Gould
Date:  [13 Apr 1838]
Classmark:  Dr Daniel C. Devor (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-408F
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