Humboldt in the Works of Darwin

Alexander von Humboldt in the Works of Charles Darwin

I. The Works of Charles Darwin

Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

The Foundations of the Origin of the Species

On the Origin of the Species (1859)

The Origin of Species (1876)

Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication

The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex

The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

Insectivorous Plants

The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

Journals and Notebooks

II. Correspondence

III. Marginalia

IV. Acknowledgements

Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle   Top

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Dec. 1831 - Feb. 1832

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean; H.M.S. Beagle leaves Plymouth Harbor; A tour of the Madeira and Canary islands; landfall at the Cape Verde islands (map)

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Vol. I, pp. 20-21

[December] 31st. [1831] In the morning very uncomfortable; got up about noon & enjoyed some few moments of comparative ease. A shoal of porpoises dashing round the vessel & a stormy petrel skimming over the waves were the first objects of interest I have seen. I spent a very pleasant afternoon lying on the sofa, either talking to the Captain or reading Humboldt's glowing accounts of tropical scenery. Nothing could be better adapted for cheering the heart of a sea-sick man. . . .
 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. 1, p. 33

February 6th. [1832] Went in a boat dredging for Corals; but did not succeed in obtaining any. Tomorrow we certainly sail. And I am glad of it, for I am becoming rather impatient to see tropical Vegetation in greater luxuriance than it can be seen here. Upon the whole the time has been for me of a proper length & has flown away very pleasantly. It is now three weeks, & what may appear very absurd it seems to me of less duration than one of its parts. During the first week every object was new & full of uncommon interest, & as Humboldt remarks, the vividness of an impression gives it the effect of duration; in consequence of this, those few days appeared to me a much longer interval than the whole three weeks does now. . . .
 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I, pp. 37-38

[February] 28th [1832]13 About 9 o'clock we were near to the coast of Brazil; we saw a considerable extent of it, the whole line is rather low & irregular, & from the profusion of wood & verdure of a bright green colour. . . . The houses are white & lofty & from the windows being narrow & long have a very light & elegant appearance. Convents, Porticos & public buildings vary the uniformity of the houses: the bay is scattered over with large ships; in short the view is one of the finest in the Brazils . But these beauties are as nothing compared to the Vegetation; I believe from what I have seen Humboldt's glorious descriptions are & will for ever be unparalleled: but even he with his dark blue skies & the rare union of poetry with science which he so strongly displays when writing on tropical scenery, with all this falls far short of the truth. The delight one experiences in such times bewilders the mind; if the eye attempts to follow the flight of a gaudy butter-fly, it is arrested by some strange tree or fruit; if watching an insect one forgets it in the stranger flower it is crawling over; if turning to admire the splendour of the scenery, the individual character of the foreground fixes the attention. The mind is a chaos of delight, out of which a world of future & more quiet pleasure will arise. I am at present fit only to read Humboldt; he like another sun illumines everything I behold. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I, p. 43

. . . . Many of those who have seen both hemispheres, give the victory to the stars of the North. It is however to me an inexpressible pleasure to behold those constellations, the first sight of which Humboldt describes with such enthusiasm. I experience a kindred feeling when I look at the Cross of the South, the phosphorescent clouds of Magellan & the great Southern Cross. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I, pp. 49-50

[April 9th, 1832] Leaving Mandetiba, we continued to pass through an intricate wilderness of lakes; in some of which were fresh, in others salt water shells. We at last entered the forest; the trees were very lofty, & what was always to be remarked in them was the whiteness of the boles, this at a distance adds much to their effect. I see by my note book, 'wonderful, beautiful flowering parasites' invariably this strikes me as the most novel object in a Tropical forest. On the road we passed through tracks of pasturage, much injured by the enormous conical ants' nests, which in height were about 12 feet. They give to the plain exactly the appearance of the mud volcanoes at Jorullo, figured by Humboldt. We arrived after it was dark at Ingetado: having been 10 hours on horseback. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I, pp. 59-60

26th[May 1832]. During to day & yesterday there has been a strong breeze from the S.W.; the amount of evaporation which a current of air produces in these countries is very great & in consequence the comparative state of dryness of the road has been today very remarkable. After dinner I walked to the Bay & had a good view of the Organ mountains. I was much struck by the justness of one of Humboldt's observations, that hills in a tropical country seen from a distance are of a uniform blue tint, but that contrary to what generally is the case the outline is defined with [p. 60] the clearest edge. Few things give me so much pleasure as reading the Personal Narrative; I know not the reason why a thought which has passed through the mind, when we see it embodied in words, immediately assumes a more substantial & true air. In the same manner as, when we meet in dramatick writings a character which we have known in life, it never fails to give pleasure. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
Vol. I, p. 62

June 2nd[1832]. Collected in the neighbourhead of the house: I trust there is a change in the weather: the Hygrometer showed the air to be twice as dry in the middle of the day as in the morning. There was a good example of what Humboldt says of 'the thin vapour, which without changing the transparency of the air, renders its tints more harmonious, softens the effects' &c. &c. In one of these days when there is such a profusion of light, the consequent dark shadows are well opposed to the general brightness of the view. . . .

 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I, pp. 63-64

[June 4th 1832] . . . Macacù has been latterly especially notorious for fevers: how mysterious & how terrible is their power. It is remarkable that in almost every case, the fever appears to come on several days after returning into the pure atmosphere. I could quote numbers of such cases: is it the sudden change of life, the better & more stimulating food, which determines the period Humboldt & Bonpland,16 after living for months in the forests, as soon as they returned to the coast, both were seized by violent fevers.17

16 Alex. von Humboldt, and Aimé Bonpland, the botanist with whom he traveled.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Volume I, pp. 248-249

12th [February 1835]. . . The uniformity of a forest soon becomes very [p. 249] wearisome; this West coast makes me remember with pleasure the free, unbounded plains of Patagonia; yet with the true spirit of contradiction, I cannot forget how sublime is the silence of the forest. The Llanos are the most fertile & thickly peopled parts of the country: they possess the immense advantage of being nearly free from trees. Before leaving the forest we crossed some flat little lawns, around which single trees were encroaching in the manner of an English park. It is curious how generally a plain seems hostile to the growth of trees: Humboldt found much difficulty in endeavouring to account for their presence or absence in certain parts of S. America; it appears to me that the levelness of the surface very frequently determines this point; but the cause why it should do so I cannot guess. In the case of Tierra del Fuego the deficiency is probably owing to the accumulation of too much moisture; but in Banda Oriental, to the North of Maldonado, where we have a fine undulating country, with streams of water (which are themselves fringed with wood) is to me, as I have before stated, the most inexplicable case. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I, p. 266

[March 21st, 1835] We began the tedious ascent, & first experienced some little difficulty in the respiration. The mules would halt every fifty yards & then the poor willing animals would, after a few seconds, of their own accord start again. The short breathing from the rarified air, is called by the Chilenos 'Puna'; they have most ridiculous ideas respecting its nature; some say, 'all the waters here have Puna', others that, 'where there is snow there is Puna', and which no doubt is true. It is considered a sort of disease, & I was shown the crosses of several graves where people had died 'Punado'. I cannot believe this, without perhaps a person suffering from some organic disease of the Chest or Heart: or very likely any one dying from whatever cause would have unusual difficulty in breathing. The only sensation I experienced was a slight tightness over the head & chest; a feeling which may be known by leaving a warm room & running violently on a frosty day. There was a good deal of fancy even in this, for upon finding fossil shells on the highest ridge, in my delight I entirely forgot the 'Puna'. Certainly the labor of walking is excessive, & the breathing deep & difficult; & it is nearly incomprehensible to me how Humboldt (& others subsequently) have reached 19,000 ft. No doubt a residence of some months in Quito, 10,000 ft. high, would prepare the constitution for such an exertion. Yet in Potosi, strangers, I am told, suffer for about a year. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. I. pp. 387-388

[September 24th, 1836] . . . When I said that the scenery of Europe was probably superior to anything which we have beheld, I must except, as a class by itself, that of the intertropical regions. The two cannot be compared together; but I [p. 388] have already too often enlarged on the grandeur of these latter climates. As the force of impression frequently depends upon preconceived ideas, I may add that all mine were taken from the vivid descriptions in the Personal Narrative60 which far exceed in merit anything I have ever read on the subject. Yet with these high wrought ideas, my feelings were very remot from partaking of a tinge of disappointment on first landing on the coast of Brazil.

60 Personal Narrative by Alexander von Humboldt.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, pp. 11-12

[February 29th, 1832] . . . On a point not far from the city, where a rivulet entered the sea, I observed a fact connected with a subject discussed by Humboldt.(5) At the cataracts of the great rivers Orinoco, Nile, and Congo, the syenitic rocks are coated by a black substance, appearing as if they had been polished with plumbago. The layer is of extreme thinness; and on analysis by Berzelius it was found to consist of the oxides of manganese and iron. In the Orinoco it occurs on the rocks periodically washed by the floods, and in those parts alone, where the stream is rapid; or, as the Indians say, 'the rocks are black, where the waters are white.' The coating is here of a rich brown instead of a black colour, and seems to be composed of [p. 12] ferrugineous matter alone. Hand specimens fail to give a just idea of these brown, burnished, stones which glitter in the sun's rays. They occur only within the limits of tidal action; and as the rivulet slowly trickles down, the surf must supply the polishing power of the cataracts in the great rivers. In the same manner, the rise and fall of the tide probably answers to the periodical inundations; and thus the same causes are present under apparently very different circumstances. The real origin, however, of these coatings of metallic oxides, which seem as if cemented to the rocks, is not understood; and no reason, I believe, can be assigned for their thickness remaining constant. . . .

5 Pers. Narr., vol. v, pt I, p.18

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, pp. 20-21

[April 9th, 1832] Leaving the coast for a time, we again entered the forest. The trees were very lofty, and remarkable, compared to those of Europe, from the whiteness of their trunks. I see by my note-book, 'wonderful and beautiful, flowering parasites,' invariably struck me as the most novel [p. 21] object in these grand scenes. Travelling onwards we passed through tracts of pasturage, much injured by the enormous conical ants' nests, which were nearly twelve feet high. They gave to the plain exactly the appearance of the mud volcanoes at Jorullo, as figured by Humboldt. We arrived at Engenhodo after it was dark, having been ten hours on horseback. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, p. 27

[April 19th, 1832] Every one has heard of the beauty of the scenery near Botofogo. The house in which I lived was seated close beneath the well-known mountain of the Corcovado. It has been remarked, with much truth, that abruptly conical hills are characteristic of the formation which Humboldt designates as gneiss-granite. Nothing can be more striking than the effect of these huge rounded masses of naked rock rising out of the most luxuriant vegetation. . . .

The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, p. 80

[1833] . . . We know9 that the extreme regions of North America, many degrees beyond the limit where the ground at the depth of a few feet remains perpetually congealed, are covered by forests of large and tall trees. In a like manner, in Siberia, we have woods of birch, fir, aspen, and larch, growing in a latitude10 (64°), where the mean temperature of the air falls below the freezing point, and where the earth is so completely frozen, that the carcass of an animal embedded in it is perfectly preserved. With these facts we must grant, as far as quantity alone of vegetation is concerned, that the great quadrupeds of the later tertiary epochs might, in most parts of Northern Europe and Asia, have lived on the spots where their remains are now found. I do not speak of the kind of vegetation necessary for their support; because, as there is evidence of physical changes, and as the animals have become extinct, so may we suppose that the species of plants have likewise been changed. . . .

9 See Zoological Remarks to Capt. Back’s Expedition, by Dr Richardson. He says,The subsoil north of latitude 56° is perpetually frozen, the thaw on the coast not penetrating above three feet, and at Bear Lake, in Latitude 64°, not more than twenty inches. The frozen substratum does not of itself destroy vegetation, for forest flourish on the surface, at a distance from the coast.’

10 See Humboldt Fragmens Asiatiques, p. 386: Barton's Geography of Plants: and Malte Brun. In the latter work it is said, that the limit of the growth of trees in Siberia may be drawn under the parallel of 70°.
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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, p. 85

. . . [1833] Wallis saw ostriches at Batchelor’s river (lat. 53º 54’), in the Strait of Magellan, which must be the extreme southern possible range of the petise. M. D’Orbigny, when at the Rio Negro, made great exertions to procure this bird, but never had the good fortune to succeed. He mentions it in his Travels,14 and proposes a fuller notice was given long before in Dobrizhoffer’s Acount of the Abipones15 (A.D. 1749). . . .

14 Vol. ii, p. 76. When at the Rio Negro, we heard much of the indefatigable labours of this naturalist. M. D'Alcide D'Orbigny, during the years 1826 to 1833, traversed several large portions of South America, and has made a collection, and is now publishing the results on a scale of magnificence, which at once places him in the list of American travellers second only to Humboldt.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
Vol. II, pp. 90-91

[after August 24th, 1833]. . . It is well known that within the tropics, the hybernation, or more properly estivation, of animals is governed by the times of drought. Near Rio de Janeiro, I was at first surprised to observe, that, a few days after some little depressions had been changed into pools of water by the rain, they were peopled by numerous full-grown [p. 91] shells and beetles. Humboldt has related the strange accident of a hovel having been erected over a spot, where a young crocodile lay buried in/the hardened mud. He adds 'The Indians often find enormous boas; which they call Uji, or water serpents, in the same lethargic state. To reanimate them, they must be irritated or wetted with water.' . . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, p. 119

[October 5th, 1833] . . . The occurrence of the fossil horse and of Mastodon angustidens in South America, is a much more remarkable circumstance than that of the animals mentioned above in the northern half of the continent; for if we divide America, not by the Isthmus of Panama, but by the southern part of Mexico,10 in lat. 20º, where the greattable-land presents an obstacle to the migration of species, by affecting the climate, and by forming, with the exception of some valleys and of a fringe of low land on the coast, a broad barrier; we shall then have two zoological provinces strongly contrasted with each other. Some few species alone have passed the barrier, and may be considered as wanderers, such as the puma, opossum, kinkajou, and peccary. The mammology of SouthAmerica is characterized by possessing several species of the genera of llama, cavy (and allied animals), tapir, peccary, opossum, anteater, sloth, and armadillo. If North America had possessed species of these genera proper to it, the distinction of the two provinces could not have been drawn; but the presence of a few wanderers scarcely affects the case. North America, on the other hand, is characterized by its numerous rodents,11 and by four genera of solid horned ruminants,12 of which section the southern half does not possess a single species.

10 This is the division followed by Lichtenstein, Swainson, and Richardson. The section from Vera Cruz to Acapulco, given by Humboldt in the Atlas to Polit. Essay on Kingdom of N. Spain, will show how immense a barrier the Mexican table-land forms.

11 Dr Richardson (Report to Brit. Assoc., p. 157), talking of the identification of a Mexican animal with the Synetheres prehensilis, says, ‘We do not know with what propriety, but, if correct, it is, if not a solidary instance, at least very nearly so, of a rodent animal being common to North and South America.’

12 Dicranocerus furcifer, Capra Americana, Ovis Montana, Bos Americana, and Moschatus. Report to Brit. Assoc.,p.159

13 Ed. New Phil. Journal. July, 1828, p. 327. From a paper by Mr Cooper in the Lyceum of Natural History of New York.

The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, pp. 214-215

[June 1st, 1834] . . . There are no direct observations, by which to judge of the mean temperature of the year in these southern islands. But after reading the above accounts, it will readily be granted that it must be very low. Even in Georgia, in lat. 54°-55°, it is not improbable that the soil is perpetually frozen at a few feet beneath the surface. At Deception Island in lat. 62°-63° from the preservation of the dead body alluded to, and the interstratification of ice with the volcanic ashes, we may feel almost sure that such must be the case. In the northern hemisphere, it is only on the great continents that so low a mean temperature is found in corresponding latitudes. In North America, according to Richardson, 12 north of lat. [p. 215] 56°, the thaw does not penetrate to a greater depth than three feet. In the Steppes of Siberia, Humboldt13 states that to the northward of 62°, the ground between twelve and fifteen feet below the surface is always frozen. In the space, however, between these two great northern continents, the line of perpetual congelation rises considerably towards the north. . . .
 

11 I have reason to believe, that icebergs are formed on the coast during a part of the year.

12 Appendix to Back’s Expedition.

13 Fragmens Asiatique, vol. ii, p. 386.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, pp. 216-218

. . . [June 1st, 1834] Proceeding northward along the cordillera we find a very different [p. 217] condition of things. In the pass of the Portillo (to the southward of 33°) Dr. Gillies determined barometrically the height of the double range. . . . From these statements, compared with my observations, the snow-line when I crossed certainly was considerably above 14,365, we may assume 15,000 as about the limit. From the results obtained by Humboldt, Pentland, Gillies, and King, we are enabled to draw up the following table of the extraordinary range of the snow-line on the Cordillera of South America:

Latitude

Height in feet of Snow-line

Observer

Equatorial region: Mean result.

15,748

Humboldt

Bolivia, Lat.16°-18°S.

17,000

Pentland.19

Central Chile, Lat. 33°S.

14,500 to 15,000

Gillies.

Chiloe, Lat. 41°-43°S.

6,000

Officers of the Beagle

Tierra del Fuego, 54°S.

3,500 to 4,000

King.20

19 See Mr Pentland’s most interesting paper in the Geograph. Journal, March 1835.

20 The average degree of atmospheric transparency seems to be a most important element in determining the climate of any place. Dr. Richardson (Report to Brit. Assoc. for 1836, p. 131) has remarked that Professor Leslie, from experimenting on the effects of radiation only in an insular climate, deduced theoretical inferences respecting the mean temperature of the year, extremely different from the results obtained under the clear atmosphere of the polar regions. I apprehend central Chile will bear comparison with any part of the world for the clearness of its sky, and Chiloe, for one of an opposite condition: therefore we should not feel surprised, if the effects of two such opposite climates at first appear anomalous. The remarkable difference in the height of the snow-line, on the opposite sides of the Himmalaya, has been explained by Humboldt and Jacquemont, on the same principle: and in a like manner, the difference between the heights on the Pyrenees and on Caucasus, the latter mountains being characterized by a climate more excessive, than that of the former.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, p. 226

. . . [June 1st, 1834] With respect to the general theory of the transport by great fragments of ice, especially of such as are angular, I may add a few remarks. Humboldt having observed that none occurred over the vast intertropical plains of the eastern side of South America, believed that they were entirely absent from the whole continent. As far as I am able to discover from the works of travellers, and from what I have myself seen, the remark holds good in the countries on both sides of the Cordillera as far south as central Chile. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. II, p. 231

. . . [June 1st, 1834] Both Humboldt40 and Lyell have remarked, that at the present day, the bodies of any animals, wandering beyond the line of perpetual congelation which extends as far south as 62°, if once embedded by any accident a few feet beneath the surface, would be preserved for an indefinite length of time: the same would happen with carcasses drifted by the rivers; and by such means the extinct mammalia may have been entombed. There is only one small step wanting, as it appears to me, and the whole problem would be solved with a degree of simplicity very striking, compared with the several theories first invented. From the account given by Mr. Lyell of the Siberian plains, with their innumerable fossil bones, the relics of many successive generations, there can be little doubt that the beds were accumulated either in a shallow sea, or in an estuary. From the description given in Beechey's voyage of Eschscholtz Bay, the same remark is applicable to the north-west coast of America: the formation there appears identical with the common littoral deposits41 recently elevated, which I have seen on the shores of the southern part of the same continent. It seems also well established, that the Siberian remains are only exposed where the rivers intersect the plain. With this fact, and the proofs of recent elevation, the whole case appears to be precisely similar to that of the Pampas: namely, that the carcasses were formerly floated into the sea, and the remains covered up in the deposits which were then accumulating. These beds have since been elevated; and as the rivers excavate their channels the entombed skeletons are exposed.

40 See Humboldt, Fragmens Asiatiques, vol. ii, pp. 385-395.

41 See some remarks by Dr. Buckland on the similarity of this formation with the
deposits so commonly found over a great part of
Europe. Appendix to Beechey’s Voyage, p. 609.

The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, pp. 272-273

[January 7th, 1835] Humboldt,1 in his Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, has given a most interesting discussion on the history of the common potato. He believes that the plant described by Molina,2 under the name of maglia, is the original stock of this useful vegetable, and that it grows in Chile in its native soil. He supposes that thence it was transported by the Indian population to Peru, Quito, New Granada, and the whole Cordillera, from 40° south to 5° north. He observes that it is a remarkable circumstance, and in accordance with all records respecting the course of the stream of American population, that previously to the Spanish conquest, it was unknown in Mexico. Among the Chonos Islands, a wild potato grows in abundance, which in general habit is even more closely similar to the cultivated kind than is the maglia of Molina.

1 Humboldt’s New Spain, book iv, chap. ix.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, p. 283

[January 23rd, 1835] The next day, after breakfast, we road to Punta Huantamó, a few miles to the northward. The road lay along a very broad beach, on which, even after so many fine days, a terrible surf was breaking. I was assured that after a heavy gale, the roar can be heard at night even at Castro, a distance of no less than twenty-one sea miles, across a hilly and wooded country. We had some difficulty in reaching the point, owing to the intolerably bad paths; for every where in the shade the ground soon becomes a perfect quagmire. The point itself is a bold rocky hill. It is covered by a plant allied, I believe, to Bromelia, and called by the inhabitants Chepones. In scrambling through the beds, our hands were very much scratched. I was amused by observing the precaution our Indian guide took, in turning up his trousers, thinking that they were more delicate than his own hard skin. This plant bears a fruit, in shape like an artichoke, in which a number of seed-vessels are packed; these contain a pleasant sweet pulp, here much esteemed. I saw at Lowe's Harbour, the Chilotans making chichi, or cider, with this fruit: so true is it, as Humboldt remarks, that almost every where man finds means of preparing some kind of beverage from the vegetable kingdom. The savages, however, of Tierra del Fuego, and I believe of Australia, have not advanced thus far in the arts.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, p. 286

February 12th [1835].. . . . Before leaving the forest we crossed some flat little lawns, around which single trees encroached, in the same manner as in an English park. It is curious how frequently a plain seems hostile to the growth of trees. Humboldt found much difficulty in endeavouring to account for their presence in certain parts of South America, and their absence in other parts. It appears to me, that the level state of the surface very frequently determines this point; but the cause of its doing so I do not know. In the case of Tierra del Fuego, the deficiency of trees on level ground is probably owing to the accumulation of too much moisture in such situations. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, pp. 308-309

[March 21st, 1835] About noon we began the tedious ascent of the Peuquenes, and then for the first time experienced some little difficulty in our respiration. The mules would halt every fifty yards, and then the poor willing animals after a few seconds started of their own accord again. The short breathing from the rarefied atmosphere is called by the Chilenos 'puna;' and they have most ridiculous notions concerning its origin. Some say, 'all the waters here have puna;' others that 'where there is snow there is puna;' and this no doubt is true. It is considered a kind of disease, and I was shown the crosses over the graves of some who had died 'punado.' Excepting perhaps in the case of a person suffering from some organic disease of the heart or chest, I should think this must be an erroneous conclusion. A person near death, would probably at this elevation experience a more unusual difficulty in breathing than others; and hence the effect might be assumed as the cause. The only sensation I felt [p. 309] was a slight tightness over the head and chest; a feeling which may be experienced by leaving a warm room and running violently on a frosty day. There was much fancy even in this; for upon finding fossil shells on the highest ridge, I entirely forgot the puna in my delight. Certainly the exertion of walking was extreme, and the respiration became deep and laborious. It is incomprehensible to me, how Humboldt and others were able to ascend to the elevation of 19,000 feet. No doubt a residence of some months in the lofty region of Quito would prepare the constitution for such an exertion; yet I am told that in Potosi (about 13,000 feet), strangers do not become quite accustomed to the atmosphere for an entire year. The inhabitants all recommend onions for the puna; as this vegetable has sometimes been given in Europe for pectoral complaints, it may possibly be of real service: for my part, I found nothing so good as the fossil shells!

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April 1835 - September 1835
Darwin's 3rd Andes expedition; FitzRoy saves the HMS Challenger; survey of the Peru coastline

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, pp. 337-339

[June 11th, 1835] After staying a few days at Potrero Seco, I proceeded up the valley to the house of Don Benito Cruz, to whom I had a letter of introduction. I found him most hospitable; indeed it is impossible to bear too strong testimony to the kindness which travellers receive in almost every part of South America. The next day I hired some mules to take me by the ravine of Jolquera into the central Cordillera. On the second night the weather seemed to foretel a storm of snow or rain, and whilst lying in our beds we felt a trifling shock of an earthquake. The connexion between the latter phenomena and the weather has often been a disputed point: it appears to me to be one of very great interest, and not well understood. Humboldt1 has remarked, 'It would be difficult for a [p. 338] person, who has lived a long time in New Andalusia, or in the low regions of Peru, to deny that the season, the most to be dreaded from the frequency of earthquakes, is that of the beginning of the rains, which is, however, the time of thunder-storms. The atmosphere, and the state of the surface of the globe, seem to have an influence unknown to us, on the changes produced at great depths.' In Northern Chile, from the extreme infrequency of rain, or even of weather foreboding rain, the probability of accidental coincidences between the two phenomena necessarily becomes very small; yet the inhabitants in that part are most firmly convinced of some connexion between the state of the atmosphere and the tremblings of the ground. I was much struck by this, when mentioning to some people at Copiapó that there had been a sharp shock at Coquimbo: they immediately cried, 'How fortunate! there will be plenty of pasture there this year.' To their minds an earthquake foretold rain, as surely, as rain foretold abundant pasture. Certainly it did so happen that on the very day of the earthquake, that shower of rain fell, which I have described as in ten days producing a thin sprinkling of grass.

Mr. Scrope has put forth an ingenious idea, that the period of subterranean disturbance, where the force is just on a balance with the resistance, may be determined by a sudden decrease in atmospheric pressure, which over a wide extent of country might produce a considerable effect. According to this explanation, the earthquake comes on at the given period from that state of the weather, which is generally accompanied by rain. But there is another class of phenomena, where the state of the weather evidently / appears a consequence (and not the determining cause) of the earthquake. I allude to those cases, when rain falls at a period of the year, at which it is a greater prodigy than the earthquake itself: I may instance the rain after the shock of November, 1822, at Valparaiso. A person must be somewhat habituated to these climates, to understand the excessive improbability of rain falling at such seasons, except as a consequence of some law quite unconnected with the ordinary course of the weather. In the case of great volcanic eruptions, as that of Coseguina, where torrents of rain fell at a time of year most unusual for it, and 'almost unprecedented in Central America,2 it is not difficult to understand that the volumes of vapour and clouds of ashes, might have disturbed the atmospheric equilibrium. Humboldt3 extends this view to the case of earthquakes; [p. 339] but for my part, I cannot conceive it possible, that the small quantity of aeriform fluid which at such times escapes from the fissured ground, can produce such remarkable effects. [p. 339] Humboldt4 has stated that, 'on the days when the earth is shaken by violent shocks, the regularity of the horary variations of the barometer is not disturbed under the tropics. I have verified this observation at Cumana, at Lima, and at Riobamba; and it is so much the more worthy of fixing the attention of natural philosophers, as at St Domingo, at the town of Cape François, it is asserted, that a water barometer†5 was observed to sink two inches and a half immediately before the earthquake of 1770. In the same manner it is related, that, at the destruction of Oran, a druggist fled with his family, because observing accidentally a few minutes before the earthquake, the height of the mercury in his barometer, he perceived that the column sunk in an extraordinary manner. I know not whether we can give credit to this assertion.' . . . .

3 Personal Narrative, vol. ii, p. 219.

4 Ibid. p. 217.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
Vol. III, pp. 350-351

[July 19th, 1835] The island of St Jago, at the Cape de Verds, offers another strongly-marked instance of a country which any one would have expected to find most healthy, being very much the contrary. I have described the bare and open plains as supporting, during a few weeks after the rainy season, a thin vegetation, which directly withers away and dries up: at that period the air appears to become poisonous; both natives and foreigners often becoming affected with violent fevers. On the other hand, the Galapagos Archipelago, in the Pacific, with a similar soil, and periodically subject to the same process of vegetation, is perfectly healthy. Humboldt has observed, that, 'under the torrid zone, the smallest marshes are the most dangerous, being surrounded, as at Vera Cruz and Carthagena, with an arid and sandy soil, which raises the temperature of the ambient air.13 I must observe, however, that on the coast of Peru the temperature is not hot to any excessive degree; and perhaps in consequence, the intermittent fevers are not of the most malignant order. . . .
 

13 Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. iv, p. 199.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, p. 352

[July 19th, 1835] Lima stands on a plain in a valley, formed during the gradual retreat of the sea. It is distant seven miles from Callao, and is elevated 500 feet above it; but from the slope being very gradual, the road appears absolutely level; so that when at Lima it is difficult to believe one has ascended some hundred feet. Humboldt has remarked on this singularly deceptive case. Steep, barren hills rise like islands from the plain, which is divided, by straight mud-walls, into large green fields. In these scarcely a tree grows excepting a few willows; and the presence of an occasional clump of bananas and of oranges, alone reminded one that the landscape of a country in latitude 12° might have boasted of a far more splendid vegetation. . . .

The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, p. 369

[October 1835] The meat of these animals when cooked is white, and by those whose stomachs rise above all prejudices, it is relished as very good food. Humboldt has remarked that in intertropical South America, all lizards which inhabit dry regions are esteemed delicacies for the table. The inhabitants say, that those inhabiting the damp region drink water, but that the others do not travel up for it from the sterile country like the tortoises. At the time of our visit, the females had within their bodies numerous large elongated eggs. These they lay in their burrows, and the inhabitants seek them for food. . . .
 

The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, pp. 406-407

[January 7th, 1836] The number of aborigines is rapidly decreasing. In my whole ride, with the exception of some boys brought up in the houses, I saw only [p. 407] one other party; these were rather more numerous than the first, and not so well clothed. This decrease, no doubt, must be partly owing to the introduction of spirits, to European diseases (even the milder ones of which, as the measles,1 prove very destructive), and to the gradual extinction of the wild animals. It is said that numbers of their children invariably perish in very early infancy from the effects of their wandering life. . . .

1 It is remarkable how the same disease is modified in different climates. At the little island of St. Helena, the introduction of scarlet fever is dreaded as a plague. In contagious disorders, as if they had been different animals; of which fact some instances have occurred in Chile; and, according to Humboldt, in Mexico. (Pol. Essay on Kingdom of New Spain, vol. iv.)

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
Vol. III, pp. 473-474

[August 1836] When I said that the scenery of Europe was probably superior to any thing which we have beheld, I excepted, as a class by itself, that of the intertropical regions. The two classes cannot be compared together; but I have already often enlarged on the grandeur of these climates. As the force of impressions generally depends on preconceived ideas, I may add, that all mine were taken from the vivid descriptions in the Personal Narrative of Humboldt, which far exceed in merit any thing I have read on the subject. Yet with these high-wrought ideas, my feelings were far from partaking of any tinge of disappointment on first landing on the shores of Brazil. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Vol. III, p. 480 [addendum to p. 227]

. . . Therefore, there is no occasion to suppose that the ice, in which by the theory they are believed to have been embedded, was formed in so low a latitude as that here mentioned; and at present, in the southern hemisphere, icebergs are drifted to latitudes, though not formed in them, nearer the tropic than 36° 30'. In Europe I cannot hear of erratic blocks having been found further south than the southern flanks of the Alps, in lat. 45°; and Humboldt has said (see Cuvier's Theory of the Earth, translated by Professor Jameson, p. 346) that they do not occur in Lombardy. I may here remark, that care should be taken to separate the phenomenon of great angular blocks, from that of rounded ones, although of considerable size; for torrents, and more especially the waves of the sea, during its slow oscillation of level, are agents sufficiently powerful to produce great effects. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. III, pp. 488-489 (addendum to p. 350)

. . . I cannot forbear quoting here a remarkable fact, mentioned by Humboldt, though interpreted in a different manner by that illustrious traveller. Speaking of the intermittent fevers which are so common near the great cataracts, or raudales, of the Orinoko, he says (Pers. Nar., vol. v, p. 17) the causes 'are violent heats, joined with the excessive humidity of the air, bad nutriment, and, if we may believe the natives (as well as the missionaries), the pestilent exhalations that arise from the bare rocks of the raudales.' Further on (p. 85), he says, 'many examples are adduced of persons, who having passed the night on these black and naked rocks, have awakened in the morning with a strong paroxysm of fever.' Humboldt thinks that these cases may be explained by the effect produced on the body by the high temperature, which the black rocks, coated with a layer of the oxides of manganese and iron, retain during the night. But it appears to me that the relation is too remarkable to be thus explained, between this fact and those mentioned by Dr. [p. 489] Ferguson, in which the desiccation of nearly bare rock in Spain, and of a very thin bed of earth overlying dry coral-rock in the West Indies, has given rise to the most pestiferous exhalations.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
  Top
Richard Owen, “Fossil Mammalia”
Vol. IV , pp. 1-2

One of the above species of Mastodon (Mast. Cordillerarum) was established by Cuvier1on remains discovered by Humboldt, in Quito, near the volcanic mountain, called Imbaburra, at an elevation of 1,200 toises above the level of the sea; and likewise at the Cordilleras of Chiquitos, near Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a locality which is near the centre of South America. A second species (Mastodon Humboldtii, Cuv.2 is indicated by molar teeth, stated to have been discovered by the same philosophic traveller, in Chile, near the city of Concepcion. The third species of Mastodon appears to have once ranged in vast troops over the wide empire of Peru: numerous teeth were brought thence to Paris by Dombey,3 and similar teeth, together with a humerus and tibia from Santa Fé de Bogota were placed by Humboldt at the disposal of Cuvier,4 who considered them to belong to the Mastodon angustidens, a species of which the fossil remains are by no means uncommon in several localities of Europe. Cuvier is also disposed to refer to the same species the teeth of the Mastodon from [p. 2] Brazil and Lima, mentioned by Dr. W. Hunter in his observations on the animal incognitum from the Ohio. . . .

This meagre condition of the historical part of the subject of South American fossils by no means arises from their actual scarcity. The writings of some of the old Spanish authors, for instance, Torrubia, Garcillasso, and others,4 contain frequent allusions to the bones of giants, who in times of old dwelt in Peru. Legentil, also, in 1728, speaks as an eye-witness of these Peruvian remains; and his guides pointed out to him the traces of the thunder-bolts, by which the Anaks of the New World had been exterminated. Bones and teeth of the Mastodon are, according to Humboldt, so abundant in a locality near Santa Fé de Bogota in Columbia, that to this day it bears the name of the 'Field of Giants'. . . .

1 See Ossemens Fossiles, Ed. Iv, tom. ii, p.368, Pl. 27, fig. 1, 12.

2 Ibid. p. 370, Pl. 27, fig. 5.

3 Ibid. pp. 347, 367.

4 Ibid. p. 337, Pl. 26, fig 5.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle

Vol. VI, p. 10

. . . I have, of course, consulted throughout the invaluable volumes of Cuvier and Valenciennes, so far as they have yet advanced in the subject; and in them it will be found that a few species, brought by Mr. Darwin from South America, and still but little known, had nevertheless been previously obtained from the same country by M. Gay. The zoological atlasses of the three great French voyages by Freycinet, Duperrey and D'Urville have been also carefully looked through; and, in regard particularly to the fish of South America, the works of Humboldt, Spix and Agassiz, and the more recent one, now in course of publication, by M. D'Orbigny. . . .
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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part I)
  Top
Vol. VII, p. 52

. . . I at first attributed this absence of reefs on the coasts of Peru and of the Galapagos Islands,2 to the coldness of the currents from the south, but the Gulf of Panama is one of the hottest pelagic districts in the world.3 In the central parts of the Pacific there are islands entirely free from reefs; and in some of these cases this appears to be due to recent volcanic action: but the existence of reefs, though scantily developed, and according to Dana, confined to one part of Hawaii (one of the Sandwich Islands), shows that recent volcanic action does not absolutely prevent their growth. . . .

3 Humboldt, Personal Narrative, vol. vii, p. 434.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part I)
Vol. VII, p. 115

. . . The West Indian Archipelago of 'fringed islands' alone remains to be mentioned: evidence of an elevation within a late tertiary epoch of nearly the whole of this great area, may be found in the works of almost all the geologists who have visited it. I will give some of the principal references in a note. . . .37

37 These references only relate to works published before 1842, the date of the first edition of this book. On Florida and the north shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Rogers, Report to Brit. Assoc., vol. iii, p. 14. On the shores of Mexico, Humboldt, Polit. Essay on New Spain, vol. i, p. 62. (I have also some corroborative facts with respect to the shores of Mexico.) Honduras and the Antilles, Lyell, Principles, 5th ed., vol. iv, p. 22. Santa Cruz and Barbadoes, Prof. Hovey, Silliman's Journal, vol. xxxv, p. 74. St Domingo, Courrojolles, Jour. de Phys., tom. liv, p. 106. Bahamas, United Service Journ., No. lxxi, pp. 218 and 224. Jamaica, De la Beche, Geol. Man., p. 142. Cuba, Taylor in Lond. and Edin. Phil. Mag., vol. xi, p. 17. Dr. Daubeney also at a meeting of the Geolog. Soc. orally described some very modern beds lying on the N.W. parts of Cuba. I might have added many other less important references.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part I)

Vol. VII, p. 168
Family: Cyprinidae; 1. Poecilia unimaculata. Val. in Humb. Zool. et Anat. Comp., vol. ii, p. 158, pl. 51, fig. 2

p. 169
. . . This species, which was discovered by Humboldt, was observed by Mr. Darwin in great numbers in fresh-water ditches at Rio de Janeiro: others were taken in equal plenty in a salt lagoon. The bellies of the females are very turgid when big with young, which are said to be excluded alive, and yellowish. Valenciennes, in his description, speaks of the opercle as being smooth, or without scales, though he says the preopercle is covered with scales; and he would lead one to suppose that they are absent on this part in the whole genus, as it enters into his [p. 170] generic character; I find them, however, present, though very thin and transparent, both in this species and the next. . . .
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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part I)
Vol. VII, p. 181

. . . Westward of long. 77° 30´, on the northern side of Cuba, a great bank commences, which extends along the coast for nearly four degrees of longitude. In its structure, and in the 'cays', or low islands on its edge, there is a marked correspondence (as observed by Humboldt, Pers. Narr., vol. vii, p. 88) between it and the great Bahama and Sal Banks, which lie directly in front. Hence one is led to attribute the same origin to all these banks; namely, the accumulation of sediment, conjoined with an elevatory movement, and the growth of coral on their outer edges. The parts which are fringed by living reefs are coloured red. . . .

The southern shore of Cuba is deeply concaavek and the included space is filled up with muc and sand-banks, low islands and coral-reefs. Between the mountainous Isle of Pines and the southern shore of Cuba, the general depth is only between two and three fathoms; and in this part, small islands, formed of fragmentary rocks and broken madre-pores (Humboldt, Pers. Narr., vol. vii, pp. 51, 86 to 90, 291, 309, 320.), [p. 182] rise abruptly, and just reach the surface of the sea. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)

Volume VIII, p. 7
(Editor’s “critical introduction”

Although Darwin was thus able to gratify his curiosity by visits to a great number of very interesting volcanic districts, the voyage opened for him with a bitter disappointment. He had been reading Humboldt's Personal Narrative during his last year's residence in Cambridge, and had copied out from it long passages about Teneriffe. He was actually making inquiries as to the best means of visiting that island, when the offer was made to him to accompany Captain Fitzroy in the Beagle. His friend Henslow too, on parting with him, had given him the advice to procure and read the recently published first volume of the Principles of Geology, though he warned him against accepting the views advocated by its author. During the [p. 8] time the Beagle was beating backwards and forwards when the voyage commenced, Darwin, although hardly ever able to leave his berth, was employing all the opportunities which the terrible sea-sickness left him, in studying Humboldt and Lyell. We may therefore form an idea of his feelings when, on the ship reaching Santa Cruz, and the Peak of Teneriffe making its appearance among the clouds, they were suddenly informed that an outbreak of cholera would prevent any landing!

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)
Vol. VIII, p. 33

. . . I have described these fragments in detail, because it is rare9 to find granitic rocks ejected from volcanos with their minerals unchanged, as is the case with the first specimen, and partially with the second. . . .

9 Daubeny, in his work on Volcanos (p. 386), remarks that this is the case; and Humboldt, in his Personal Narrative (vol. i, p. 236), says, 'In general, the masses of known primitive rocks, I mean those which perfectly resemble our granites, gneiss, and mica-slate, are very rare in lavas: the substances we generally denote by the name of granite, thrown out by Vesuvius, are mixtures of nepheline, mica, and pyroxene.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)
Vol. VIII, p. 50

. . . Comparison of the obsidian beds and alternating strata of Ascension, with those of other countries. I have been struck with much surprise, how closely the excellent description of the obsidian rocks of Hungary, given by Beudant,†32 and that by Humboldt, of the same formation in Mexico and Peru,33 and likewise the descriptions given by several authors†34 of the trachytic regions in the Italian islands, agree with my observations at Ascension. Many passages might have been transferred without alteration from the works of the above authors, and would have been applicable to this island. They all agree in the laminated and stratified character of the whole series; and Humboldt speaks of some of the beds of obsidian, being ribboned like jasper.†35 They all agree in the nodular or concretionary character of the obsidian, and of the passage of these nodules into layers. They all refer to the repeated alternations, often in undulatory planes, of glassy, pearly, stony, and crystalline layers: the crystalline layers, however, seem to be much more perfectly developed at Ascension, than in the above-named countries. Humboldt compares some of the stony beds, when viewed from a distance, to strata of a schistose sandstone. Sphaerulites are described as occurring abundantly in all cases; and they everywhere seem to mark the passage, from the perfectly glassy to the stony and crystalline beds. Beudant's account36 of his 'perlite lithoide globulaire' in every, even the most trifling particular, might have been written for [p. 51] the little brown sphaerulitic globules of the rocks of Ascension. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)
Vol. VIII, pp. 51-55

. . . We have seen, that in several and widely distant countries, the strata alternating with beds of obsidian, are highly laminated. The nodules, also, both large and small, of the obsidian, are zoned with different shades of colour; and I have seen a specimen from Mexico in Mr. Stokes' collection, with its external surface weathered39 into ridges and furrows, corresponding with the zones of different degrees of glassiness: Humboldt40 moreover, found on the Peak of Teneriffe, a stream [p. 52] of obsidian divided by very thin, alternating, layers of pumice. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)
Vol. VIII, pp. 66-67

. . . In some parts, the ridge is surmounted by a wall or parapet, perpendicular on both sides. Near Diana's Peak this wall is extremely narrow. At the Galapagos Archipelago I observed parapets, having a quite similar structure and appearance, surmounting several of the craters; one, which I more particularly examined, was composed of glossy, red scoriae firmly cemented together; being externally perpendicular, and extending round nearly the whole circumference of the crater, it rendered it almost inaccessible. The Peak of Teneriffe and Cotopaxi, according to Humboldt, are similarly constructed; he stateshttp:7 that 'at their summits a circular wall surrounds the crater, which wall, at a distance, has the appearance of a small cylinder placed on a truncated cone. On Cotopaxi8 this peculiar structure is visible to the naked eye at more than 2000 toises' distance; and no person has ever reached its crater. On the Peak of Teneriffe, the parapet is so high, that it would be impossible to reach the caldera, if on the eastern side there did not exist a breach.' The origin of these circular parapets, is probably due to the heat or vapours from the crater, penetrating and hardening the sides to a nearly equal depth, and afterwards to the mountain being slowly acted on by the weather, which would leave the hardened part, projecting in the form of a cylinder or circular parapet. . . .
 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)
Vol. VIII, p. 83

. . . Besides the albite, this lava contains scattered grains of a green mineral, with no distinct cleavage, and closely resembling olivine;8 but as it fuses easily into a green glass, it belongs probably to the augitic family: at James Island, however, a similar lava contained true olivine. . . .

8 Humboldt mentions that he mistook a green augitic mineral, occurring in the volcanic rocks of the Cordillera of Quito, for olivine.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)

Vol. VIII, p. 98

. . . If the foregoing view the origins of trap-dikes in widely extended granitic regions, far from rocks of any other formation, be admitted as probable, we may further admit, in the case of a great body of plutonic rock, being impelled by repeated movements into the axis of a mountain-chain, that its more liquid constituent parts might drain into deep and unseen abysses; afterwards, perhaps, to be brought to the surface under the form, either of injected masses of greenstone and augitic porphyry,9 or basaltic eruptions. . . .

9 Phillips (Lardner's Encyclop., vol. ii, p. 115) quotes Von Buch's statement, that augitic porphyry ranges parallel to, and is found constantly at the base of, great chains of mountains. Humboldt, also, has remarked the frequent occurrence of trap-rock, in a similar position; of which fact I have observed many examples at the foot of the Chilian Cordillera. The existence of granite in the axes of great mountain chains is always probable, and I am tempted to suppose, that the laterally injected masses of augitic porphyry and of trap, bear nearly the same relation to the granitic axes, which basaltic lavas bear to the central trachytic masses, round the flanks of which they have so frequently been erupted.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part II)
Vol. VIII, pp. 112-113

. . . KING GEORGE'S SOUND
This settlement is situated at the south-western angle of the Australian continent: the whole country is granitic, with the constituent minerals [p. 113] sometimes obscurely arranged in straight or curved laminae. In these cases, the rock would be called by Humboldt, gneiss-granite, and it is remarkable that the form of the bare conical hills, appearing to be composed of great folding layers, strikingly resembles, on a small scale, those composed of gneiss-granite at Rio de Janeiro, and those described by Humboldt at Venezuela. These plutonic rocks are, in many places, intersected by trappean-dikes: in one place, I found ten parallel dikes ranging in an E. and W. line; and not far off another set of eight dikes, composed of a different variety of trap, ranging at right angles to the former ones. I have observed in several primary districts, the occurrence of systems of dikes parallel and close to each other. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part III)
Vol. IX, p. 83

Thin, superficial, saline incrustations.. . . These saline incrustations are common in many parts of America: Humboldt met with them on the table-land of Mexico, and the Jesuit Falkner and other authors 19 state that they occur at intervals over the vast plains extending from the mouth of the Plata to Rioja and Catamarca. Hence it is that during droughts, most of the streams in the Pampas are saline. I nowhere met with these incrustations so abundantly as near Bahia Blanca: square miles of the mud-flats, which near that place are raised only a few feet above the sea, just enough to protect them from being overflowed, appear, after dry weather, whiter than the ground after the thickest hoar-frost. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part III)
Vol. IX, pp. 120-121

. . . It may naturally be asked, where did these numerous animals live? From the remarkable discoveries of MM. Lund and Clausen, it appears that some of the species found in the Pampas inhabited the high-lands of Brazil: The Mastodon Andium is embedded at great heights in the Cordillera from north of the equator25 to at least as far south as Tarija; and as there is no higher land, there can be little doubt that this Mastodon must have lived on the plains and valleys of that great range. These countries, however, appear too far distant for the habitation of [p. 121] the individuals entombed in the Pampas: we must probably look to nearer points, for instance to the province of Corrientes, which, as already remarked, is said not be covered by the Pampean formation, and may therefore, at the period of its deposition, have existed as dry land. . . .

25 Humboldt states that the Mastodon has been discovered in New Granada: it has been found in Quito. When at Lima, I saw a tooth of a Mastodon in the possession of Don M. Rivero, found at Playa Chica on the Maranon, near the Guallaga. Every one has heard of the numerous remains of Mastodon in Bolivia.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part III)
Vol. IX, pp. 165-166

. . . Again, Humboldt describes the gneiss-granite over an immense area in Venezuela and even in Colombia, as striking E. 50° N., and dipping to the N.W. at an angle of fifty degrees. Hence all the observations hitherto made, tend to show that the gneissic rocks over the whole of this part of the continent, have their folia extending generally within almost a point of the compass of the same direction. . . .
 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part III)
Vol. IX, p. 190

. . . One large vein of a coarse granitic character, was remarkable from in one part quite changing its character, and insensibly passing into a blackish porphyry, including acicular crystals of glassy feldspar and of hornblende: I have never seen any other such case. . . .25

25 Humboldt (Personal Narrative, vol. iv, p. 60) has described with much surprise, concretionary balls, with concentric divisions, composed of partially vitreous feldspar, hornblende, and garnets, included within great veins of gneiss, which cut across the mica-slate near Venezuela.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (Part III)
Vol. IX, p. 192

. . . Let us now turn to the Foliation of the metamorphic schists, a subject which has been much less attended to. As in the case of cleavage-laminae, the folia preserve over very large areas a uniform strike: thus Humboldt29 found for a distance of 300 miles in Venezuela, and indeed over a much larger space, gneiss, granite, mica and clay-slate, striking very uniformly N.E. and S.W., and dipping at an angle of between 60° and 70° to N.W.: it would even appear from the facts given in this chapter, that the metamorphic rocks throughout the north-eastern part of S. America are generally foliated within two points of N.E. and S.W. . . .

29 Personal Narrative, vol. vi, pp. 591, et seq.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Foundations of the Origin of the Species
  Top
Vol. X, pp. 55-57

. . . Several naturalists, of whom Pallas20 regarding animals, and Humboldt regarding certain plants, were the first, believe that the breeds of many of our domestic animals such as of the horse, pig, dog, sheep, pigeon, and poultry, and of our plants have descended from more than one aboriginal form. They leave it doubtful, whether such forms are to be considered wild races, or true species, whose offspring are fertile when crossed inter se. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1986)
The Foundations of the Origin of the Species
Vol. X, pp. 125-126

. . . I will only hazard one other observation, namely that during the change from an extremely cold climate to a more temperate one the conditions, both on lowland and mountain, would be singularly favourable for the diffusion of any existing plants, which could live on land, just freed from the rigour of eternal winter; for it would possess no inhabitants; and we cannot doubt that preoccupation30 is the chief bar to the diffusion of plants. For amongst many other facts, how otherwise can we explain the circumstance that the plants on the opposite, though similarly constituted sides of a wide river in Eastern Europe (as I was informed by Humboldt) should be widely different; across which river birds, swimming quadrupeds and the wind must often transport seeds; we can only suppose that plants already occupying the soil and freely seeding check the germination of occasionally transported seeds. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
On the Origin of the Species (1859)
  Top
Vol. XV, pp. 266-267

. . . On this view of the whole world, or at least of broad longitudinal belts, having been simultaneously colder from pole to pole, much light can be thrown on the present distribution of identical and allied [267] species. In America, Dr. Hooker has shown that between forty and fifty of the flowering plants of Tierra del Fuego, forming no inconsiderable part of its scanty flora, are common to Europe, enormously remote as these two points are; and there are many closely allied species. On the lofty mountains of equatorial America a host of peculiar species belonging to European genera occur. On the highest mountains of Brazil, some few European genera were found by Gardner, which do not exist in the wide intervening hot countries. So on the Silla of Caraccas the illustrious Humboldt long ago found species belonging to genera characteristic of the Cordillera. On the mountains of Abyssinia, several European forms and some representatives of the peculiar flora of the Cape of Good Hope occur. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
The Origin of Species (1876)
  Top
Vol. XVI, pp. 286-287

. . . Mr. Hopkins also expresses his belief that sedimentary beds of considerable horizontal extent have rarely been completely destroyed. But all geologists, excepting the few who believe that our present metamorphic schists and plutonic rocks once formed the primordial nucleus of the globe, will admit that these latter rocks have been stripped of their covering to an enormous extent. For it is scarcely possible that such rocks could have been solidified and crystallized whilst uncovered; but if the metamorphic action occurred at profound depths of the ocean, the former protecting mantle of rock may not have been very thick. Admitting then that gneiss, micaschist, granite, diorite, etc., were once necessarily covered up, how can we account for the naked and extensive areas of such rocks in many parts of the world, except on the belief that they have subsequently been completely denuded of all overlying strata? That such extensive areas do exist cannot be doubted: the granitic region of Parime is described by Humboldt as being at least nineteen times as large as Switzerland. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
The Origin of Species (1876)
Vol. XVI, pp. 351-352

. . . In South America, Dr. Hooker has shown that besides many closely allied species, between forty and fifty of the flowering plants of Tierra del Fuego, forming no inconsiderable part of its scanty flora, are common to North America and Europe, enormously remote as these areas in opposite hemispheres are from each other. On the lofty mountains of equatorial America a host of peculiar species belonging to European genera occur. On the Organ mountains of Brazil, some few temperate European, some Antarctic, and some Andean genera were found by Gardner, which do not exist in the low intervening hot countries. On the Silla of Caraccas, the illustrious Humboldt long ago found species belonging to genera characteristic of the Cordillera. . . .
 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (Part I)
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Vol. XIX, pp. 216-217

. . . Humboldt long ago remarked, the same species sometimes evinces a more tameable disposition in one country than in another. If we suppose that the G. bankiva was first tamed in Malaya and afterwards imported into India, we can understand an observation made to me by Mr. Blyth, that the domestic fowls of India do not resemble the wild G. bankiva of India more closely than do those of Europe. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (Part I)
Vol. XIX, pp. 283-284

. . . In tropical countries the wild luxuriance of nature, as was long ago remarked by Humboldt, overpowers the feeble efforts of man. In anciently civilized temperate countries, where the whole face of the land has been greatly changed, it can hardly be doubted that some plants have become extinct; nevertheless De Candolle has shown that all the plants historically known to have been first cultivated in Europe still exist here in the wild state. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (Part II)
Vol. XX, pp. 18-19

. . . When two races, both low in the scale, are crossed the progeny seems to be eminently bad. Thus the noble-hearted Humboldt, who felt no prejudice against the inferior races, speaks in strong terms of the bad and savage disposition of Zambos, or half-castes between Indians and Negroes; and this conclusion has been arrived at by various observers. From these facts we may perhaps infer that the degraded state of so many half-castes is in part due to reversion to a primitive and savage condition, induced by the act of crossing, even if mainly due to the unfavourable moral conditions under which they are generally reared. . . .
 

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (Part II)
Vol. XX, p. 119

. . . Parrots are singularly long-lived birds; and Humboldt mentions the curious fact of a parrot in South America, which spoke the language of an extinct Indian tribe, so that this bird preserved the sole relic of a lost language. Even in this country there is reason to believe that parrots have lived to the age of nearly one hundred years; yet they breed so rarely, though many have been kept in Europe, that the event has been thought worth recording in the gravest publications. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1988)
Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (Part II)
Vol. XX, pp. 229-230

. . . Humboldt remarks17 that white men 'born in the torrid zone walk barefoot with impunity in the same apartment where a European, recently landed, is exposed to the attacks of the Pulex penetrans'. This insect, the too well-known chigoe, must therefore be able to perceive what the most [p. 230] delicate chemical analysis fails to discover, namely, a difference between the blood or tissues of a European and those of a white man born in the tropics. . . .

17 Personal Narrative, Eng. translat. vol. v, p. 101. This statement has been cofirmed by Karsten (Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Rhychoprion: Moscow, 1864, p. 39) and by others.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (Part I)
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Vol. XXI, pp. 21-22

. . . The sense of smell is of the highest importance to the greater number of mammals -– to some, as the ruminants, in warning them of danger; to others, as the carnivora, in finding their prey; to other, again, as the wild boar, for both purposes combined. But the sense of smell is of extrely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured [p. 22] races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilized races.36 Nevertheless it does not warn them of danger, nor guide them to their food; nor does it prevent the Esquimaux from sleeping in the most fetid atmosphere, nor many savages from eating half-putrid meat. . . .

36 The account given by Humboldt of the power of smell possessed by the natives of South America is well known, and has been confirmed by others. M. Houzeau (Études sur les Facultés Mentales, etc., vol. i, 1872, p. 91) asserts that he repeatedly made experiments, and proved that Negroes and Indians could recognize persons in the dark by their odour. Dr. W. Ogle has made some curious observations on the connection between the power of smell and the colouring matter of the mucous membrane of the olfactory region, as well as of the skin of the body. I have, therefore, spoken in the text of the dark-coloured races having a finer sense of smell than the white races. See his paper, Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, London, vol. liii, 1870, p. 276.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (Part I)
Vol. XXI, pp. 83-84

. . . I will conclude by quoting a remark by the illustrious Humboldt28 The muleteers in S. America say, “I will not give you the mule whose step is easiest, but la mas racional the one that reasons best”;' and as he adds, 'this popular expression, dictated by long experience, combats the system of animated machines, better perhaps than all the arguments of speculative philosophy'. Nevertheless some writers even yet deny that the higher animals possess a trace of reason; and they endeavour to explain away, by what appears to be mere verbiage, all such facts as those above given. . . .
 

28 Personal Narrative, Eng. translat., vol. iii, p. 106.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (Part I)
Vol. XXI, pp. 187-188

. . . On the extinction of the races of man. The partial or complete extinction of many races and sub-races of man is historically known. Humboldt saw [p. 188] in South America a parrot which was the sole living creature that could speak a word of the language of a lost tribe. Ancient monuments and stone implements found in all parts of the world, about which no tradition has been preserved by the present inhabitants, indicate much extinction. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (Part II)

Vol. XXII, pp. 597-598

. . . In South America, as Humboldt remarks, 'my mother would be accused of culpable indifference towards her children, if she did not employ artificial means to shape the calf of the leg after the fashion of the country'. In the Old and New Worlds the shape of the skull was formerly modified during infancy in the most extraordinary manner, as is still the case in many places, and such deformities are considered ornamental. For instance, the savages of Colombia145 deem a much flattened head 'an essential point of beauty'. . . .

43 Humboldt, Personal Narrative, Engl translat. vol. iv, p. 515; on the imagination shown in painting the body, p. 522; on modifying the form of the calf of the leg, p. 466.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (Part II)

Vol. XXII, pp. 606-607

. . . The general truth of the principle, long ago insisted on by Humboldt,69 that man admires and often tries to exaggerate whatever characters nature may have given him, is shown in many ways. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (ed. Francis Darwin)
  Top
Vol. XXIII, pp. 101-102

. . .Humboldt also asserts that the eyes of Callithrix sciureus 'instantly fill with tears when it is seized with [p. 102] fear'; but when this pretty little monkey in the Zoological Gardens was teased, so as to cry out loudly, this did not occur. I do not, however, wish to throw the least doubt on the accuracy of Humboldt's statement. . . .

21 Rengger, ibid. p. 46. Humboldt, Personal Narrative, Eng. trans. Vol. iv, p. 527.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (ed. Francis Darwin)
Vol. XXIII, p. 250

. . . With the Indians who inhabit the hot, equable, and damp parts of South America, the skin apparently does not answer to mental excitement so readily as with the natives of the northern and southern parts of the continent, who have long been exposed to great vicissitudes of climate; for Humboldt ,17quotes without a protest the sneer of the Spaniard, 'How can those be trusted, who know not how to blush?' . . .

17 Humboldt, Personal Narrative, Eng. translat., vol. iii, p. 229.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
Insectivorous Plants (revised by Francis Darwin)
  Top
Vol. XXIV, p. 50

. . . In my observations on Drosera totundifolia, the leaves seemed to be more quickly inflected over animal substances and to remain inflected for longer period during very warm than during cold weather. . . .1

1 When my experiments on the effects of heat were made, I was not aware that the subject had been carefully investigated by several observers. For instance, Sachs is convinced (Traité de Botanique, 1874, pp. 772, 854) that the most different kinds of plants all perish if kept for 10 m in water at 45° to 46°C, or 113° to 115°F; and he concludes that the protoplasm within their cells always coagulates, if in a damp condition, at a temperature of between 50° and 60°C, or 122° to 140°F. Max Schultze and Kühne (as quoted by Dr. Bastian in Contemp. Review, 1874, p. 528) 'found that the protoplasm of plant-cells, with which they experimented, was always killed and altered by a very brief exposure to a temperature of 118 1 2°F as a maximum'. As my results are deduced from special phenomena, namely, the subsequent aggregation of the protoplasm and the re-expansion of the tentacles, they seem to me worth giving. We shall find that Drosera resists heat somewhat better than most other plants. That there should be considerable differences in this respect is not surprising, considering that some low vegetable organisms grow in hot springs cases of which have been collected by Professor Wyman (American Journal of Science, vol. xliv, 1867). Thus, Dr. Hooker found Confervae in water at 168°F; Humboldt at 185°F; and Descloizeaux, at 208°F.

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom
  Top
Vol. XXV, pp. 308-309

. . . Gardeners' Chronicle, 1867, p. 107. Loiseleur-Deslongchamp (Les Céréales, 1842, pp. 208-19) was led by his observations to the extraordinary conclusion that the smaller grains of cereals produce as fine plants as the large. This conclusion is, however, contradicted by Major Hallet's great success in improving wheat by the selection of the finest grains. It is possible, however, that man, by long-continued selection, may have given to the grains of the cereals a greater amount of starch or other matter, than the seedlings can utilize for their growth. There can be little [p. 309] doubt, as Humboldt long ago remarked, that the grains of cereals have been rendered attractive to birds in a degree which is highly injurious to the species. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (ed. Nora Barlow)
  Top
XXIX, p. 107

. . . During my last year at Cambridge I read with care and profound interest Humboldt's Personal Narrative. This work and Sir J. Herschel's Introduction to the Study of Natural Philosophy stirred up in me a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of natural science. No one or a dozen other books influenced me nearly so much as these two. I copied out from Humboldt long passages about Teneriffe, and read them aloud on one of the above-mentioned excursions, to (I think) Henslow, Ramsay and Dawes; for on a previous occasion I had talked about the glories of Teneriffe, and some of the party declared they would endeavour to go there; but I think that they were only half in earnest. I was, however, quite in earnest, and got an introduction to a merchant in London to enquire about ships; but the scheme was of course knocked on the head by the voyage of the Beagle. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (ed. Nora Barlow)
Vol. XXIX, p. 130

. . . I saw a good deal of Robert Brown, 'facile Princeps Botanicorum', as he was called by Humboldt; and before I was married I used to go and sit with him almost every Sunday morning. He seemed to me to be chiefly remarkable for the minuteness of his observations and their perfect accuracy. . . .

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The Works of Charles Darwin, edited by Paul H. Barrett & R.B. Freeman, (London: William Pickering, 1989)
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (ed. Nora Barlow)
Vol. XXIX, p. 133

. . . I once met at breakfast at Sir R. Murchison's house, the illustrious Humboldt, who honoured me by expressing a wish to see me. I was a little disappointed with the great man, but my anticipations probably were too high. I can remember nothing distinctly about our interview, except that Humboldt was very cheerful and talked much. . . .

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Journals Top

Sandra Herbert, The Red Notebook of Charles Darwin. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1980.

[“The Red Notebook is one series of notebooks kept by Charles Darwin during and immediately following his service as naturalist to the 1831–1836 surveying voyage of the H.M.S Beagle.”]

p. 37

. . . 24 Mem.; rapidity of germination in young corals. —vide L. Jackson’s paper.
Philosoph Ttansact:37 at R. de Janiro. Coquimbo. Balanidae. at Concepcion.

Humb: Pers. N. vii P. 5638 Serpentine form: of Cuba for comparison (?) with St Pauls . . .


37 Despite the faulty citation the reference is certainly to Joseph Jackson Lister,Some Observations on the Structures and Functions of tubular and cellular Polypi, and of Ascidiae’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, vol. 126 (1834), pp. 365-388.

38 Alexander von Humboldt, Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent1799-1804 (London, 1829), vol. 7, p. 56: “Farther south, towards Regla and Guanabacoa [to the east of Havana], the syenite disappears, and the whole soil is covered with serpentine, rising in hills from 30 to 40 toises high, and running from east to west.” Darwin’s copy of Humboldt’s Personal Narrative is inscribed, “J.S. Henslow to his friend C. Darwin on his departure from England upon a voyage round the World. 21 Sept 1831.” It consists of vols. 1-2, 3rd ed.; vol.3, 2nd ed.; vols. 4, 5, 6, 7, 1st ed. (London, 1819 1829). Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), a member of all major scientific academies, was the foremost scientific traveller of this day nd a principal contributor to the science of geography.

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Sandra Herbert, The Red Notebook of Charles Darwin. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1980.

pp. 49-50

. . . 70 Lyell. Vol. I. P. 316. Earthquake of 1812 affected valley of Missisippi & New Madrid & Caraccas. —91 Is this mentioned by Humboldt in his account of extensive areas. —92

P. 332 In any archipelago. & neighbouring Volcanos. Eruption from [more than] one orifice does not occur at same time: this is contrasted to contemporaneous action over larger spaces of the globes & “periods” of increased activity. —93 such as that of 1835. —

State of three [or 4] fields of Earthquakes in Chili: — |

72 cliffs. — wide valleys. — central peak small; yet great body of lavas have flowed from centre—

Pisolitic balls occur in the Ashes which fill up theatre Pompeei (?).— Such have been seen to form in atmosphere. — Mem. Ascencion. Concretions & Galapagos. —

Humboldts. fragmens.95

Read geology of N. America. India. — remembering S. Africa. Australia. Oceanic Isles. Geology of whole world will turn out simple. — |

73 Fortunate for this science. that Europe was its birth place. — Some general reflections might be introduced on great size of ocean; especially Pacifick: insignificant islets general movements of the earth; — Scarcity of Organic remains. — Unequal distribution of Volcanic action, Australia S. Africa— on one side. S. America on the other: The extreme frequency of soft materials being consolidated; one inclines to belief all strata of Europe formed near coast. Humboldts quotation of instability of ground at present. day. — applied by me geologically to Vertical movements.96 . . .

91 Lyell, Principles of Geology, vol. 1, p. 316: “We have before mentioned the violent earthquakes which, in 1812, convulsed the valley of the Mississippi at New Madrid, for the space of three hundred miles in length. As this happened exactly at the same time as the great earthquake of Caraccas, it is probably that these two points are parts of one continuous volcanic region…”

92 Humboldt, Personal Narrative, vol. 4, pp. 11-12: “The extraordinary commotions felt almost continually during two years on the borders of the Mississippi and the Ohio, and which coincided in 1812 with those of the valley of Caraccas, were preceded at Louisiana by a year almost exempt from thunder storms.”

93 Lyell, Principles of Geology, vol. 1, pp. 321-322: “Syria and Palestine abound in volcanic appearances, and very extensive areas have been shaken, at different periods, with great destruction of cities and loss of lives. It has been remarked…that from the commencement of the thirteenth to the latter half of the seventeenth century, there was an almost entire cessation of earthquakes in Syria and Judea; and, during this interval of quiescence, the Archipelago,together with part of the adjacent coast of Lesser Asia, as also Southern Italy and Sicily, suffered extraordinary convulsions; while volcanic eruptions in those parts were unusually frequent. A more extended comparison…seems to confirm the opinion, that a violent crisis of commotion never visits both at the same time. It is impossible for us to declare, as yet, whether this phenomenon is constant in this, or general in other regions, because we can rarely trace back a connectedseries of events farther than a few centuries; but it is well known that, wherenumerous vents are clustered together within a small area, as in the manyarchipelagos for instance, two of them are never in violent eruption at once.”

95 Alexander von Humboldt, Fragmens de géologie et de climatologie asiatiques. 2 vols. (Paris, 1831).

96 The exact quotation is uncertain, but the following sentence suggests Humboldt’s views (Fragments…asiatiques, vol. 1, pp. 5-6): “La volcanicité, c’est-à-dire, l’influence qu’exerce l’intérieur d’une planète sur son envelope extérieure dans les différens stades de son refroidissement, à cause de l’inégalité d’agrégation (de fluidité et de solidité), dans laquelle se trouvent les matières qui la composent, cette action du dedans en dehors (si je puis m’exprimer ainsi) est aujourd’hui très affaiblie, restreinte à un petit nombre de points, intermittente, moins souvent déplacée, très simplifiée dans ses effets chimiques, ne produisant des roches qu’autour de petites ouvertures circulaires ou sur des crevasses longitudinales depeu d’étendue, ne manifestant sa puissance, à de grandes distances, que dynamiquement en ébranlant la croûte de notre planète dans des directions linéaires, ou dans des étendues (circles d’oscillations simultanées) qui restent les mêmes pendant un grand nombre de siècles.”
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Sandra Herbert, The Red Notebook of Charles Darwin. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1980.
p. 58

. . . 100e During a period of subsidence the shingle of Patagonia would become more or less interstratified with sediment. — [& escarpment worn away like English escarpment]119

The great conglomerate of the Amazons & Orinoco mentioned by Humboldt under name of Rothe-todte-liegende is perhaps same with that of Pernambuco?120

Quote Miers about shells at Quillota121

Lyell, states that contact of Granite & sedimentary rocks, in Alps becomes Metalliferous. Vol III Latter Part122 . . .

119 This entry is written in light brown ink.

120 Humboldt, Personal Narrative, vol. 4, p. 384: “We discover between Calbozo, Uritucu, and the Mesa de Pavones, wherever men have made excavations of some feet deep, the geological constitution of the Llanos. A formation of red sandstone [Rothes todtes liegende] (or ancient conglomerate) covers an extent of several thousand square leagues. We shall find it again hereafter in the vast plains of the Amazon, on the eastern boundary of the province of Jaën de Bracamoros. This prodigious extension of red sandstone, in the low grounds that stretch along the East of the Andes, is one of the most striking phenomena, with which the study of rocks in the equinoctial regions furnished me.”

121 Miers, Travels in Chile and La Plata, vol. 1, pp. 394-395: “All around Quintero [near Quillota]…the fishermen have employed themselves digging shells for the lime-making from a stratum four or five feet thick, in the recesses of the rocks, at the height of fifteen feet above the usual level of the sea, it being evident that no very distant period this spot must have been buried in the sea, and uplifted probably by convulsions similar to the one now described.” Also p. 458: “The recent shelly deposites mixed with loam [at Quintero] I have traced to places three leagues from the coast, at a height of 500 feet above the level of the sea…” See GSA, p. 35.

122 Lyell, Principles of Geology, vol. 3, p. 371: “[According to M. Elie de Beaumont]near Champoleon [in France], a granite composed of quartz, black mica, and rose-coloured feldspar, is observed partly to overlie the secondary rocks, producing an alteration which extends for about thirty feet downwards, diminishing in the inferior beds which lie farthest from the granite…In the altered mass the argillaceous beds are hardened, the limestone is saccharoid, the grits quartzose, and in the midst of them is a thin layer of an imperfect granite. It is also an important circumstance, that near the point of contact both the granite and the secondary rocks become metalliferous, and contain nests and small veins of blende, galena, iron, and copper pyrites.”

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Sandra Herbert, The Red Notebook of Charles Darwin. Ithaca, New York:Cornell University Press, 1980.
pp. 72-77

. . . 157e There is map of Cordillera by Humboldt in Geolog. Society188 Sir Woodbine Parish informs me that town near Tucuman and Salta. Towards theVermejo was utterly overthrown by earthquake with great destruction of human life. —189 Temple mentions some earthquake at Cordova. —190 There the Cordova earthquake |

160 The Hollowness of <sep> Chiloe concretions somewhat analogous to septa. —would particle attracted towards space tend to form ring. [Fig. 10] motion from within and without H. Kingdom N. Spain. Vol III p. 113 “Nature exhibited to the Mexicans enormous masses of Iron and Nickel, & these masses which are scattered over the surface of the ground are fibrous. malleable & of so great tenacity, that it is with difficulty that a few fragments can be separated from them with steel instruments.” 197 |

163e Humboldt. New Spain. Vol III. P. 130201 Metals in Mexico rarely in secondary always in primitive & transition; the latter rarely appear in central Cordillera. Particularly between 18° & 22° N.= formations of amph: porphyry. Greenstone [,] amygdaloid. basalt & other trap cover it to great thickness. = Coast of Acapulco granitic rock. — in parts of table granits & gneiss with gold veins visible: — “Porphyries of Mexico may be considered for most parts as rock eminently rich in mines of gold & silver.” [p. 131] 202 |

164e The above porphyries characterized by no quartz & amphibole frequently only vitreous felspar: = gold veins in a phonolitic porphyry. = several parts of N. Spain great analogy to Hungary. = Veins of Zimapan offer zeolite. stilbite. grammalite. pyenite. native sulphur.. flour spar. bayte. asbestos garnets. — carb & chrom. Of lead. orpiment. chrysoprase. opal: — 203Veins in Limestone & Grauwacke: Silver appears far more abundant in the upper Limestone, which H. calls by several secondary names204 |

165e [Study Hoffmans account of steam acting on trachytes. also Azores. We here have case of such vapours washing a rock205] Veins concretionary; concretions determined by fissures as in septaria. (& Chiloe case, at least corelation) — Galapogos vein. Vein of secretion. — metallic veins follow mountain chain. There after NW <W>. — [same chemical laws as in concretions perhaps makes intersections richest — Humboldt has urged phenomena in veins, chemical affinities like in composed rock.206 granites syenite] [strangling &c of veins can only be accounted for by concretionary action, conjoined with other] [state simplest case. concretions of clay iron stone; iron pyrite in a fossil] Insist strongly on the grand fact of Volcanic & non Volcanic. Then Solfataras. [Mem: Micaceous iron ore.] N.B. To show how metals may be transported by complicated chemical law & steam of Salts, quite curious case of oxided Iron by Mitterschlich. Vol. II Journal of Nat. & Geograph Siciences? —207 |

166e H says in Potosi the silver is contained in a primitive slate, covered by a clayey porphyry, containing grenats. In Peru. On other hand, mine of Gualgayoc or Chota & Pasco in “alpine limestone” = “The wealth of the veins in most part totally independent of the nature of the beds they intersect”. = In the Guatemala part. (& Chiloe do) no veins discovered. Humboldt suggests covered up by volcanic rocks.208|

171e above ancient freestone, limestone & <many> [other secondary] rocks.216 Vein traverses both Clay slate, Porphyry North 52 W, & is nearly the same with that of veta grande of Zacatecas, & veins of Tasco & Moran — of Guanaxuato to SW. with respect to latter doubts whether bed or vein (very like that of Spital of Schemnitz in Hungary.) Humboldt says fragments from roof & penetrating overlying beds tell the secret. —217 p. 189. “The small ravins into which the valley of Marfil is divided, appear to have decided influence on the richness of the veta madre of [continued on page 175] |

175e [continued from page 171] Guanaxuato, which has yielded the most metal, where the direction of ravins, and the slope of the mountains (flaqueza del Cerro) have been parallel to the direction & inclination of the vein”. —222 at Zacatecas the veta grande has same direction as Guanax. — the other E & W. — veins richest not in ravins or along gentle slopes. But on the most elevated summits, where mountains most torn. — (?anticlinal line?). —223 Mines of Catorce [(Principal veins)] 25° to 30° to NE. vein of Moran 84° NE. ofReal del Monte 85° to S. // Tasco 40° to NW (afterwards said to be [all with someexception] directed NW & SE).224 |

176e [Vol III] Mexican Cordillera “immense variety of Porphyries which are destitute of quartz, & wh abound both in hornblend & vitreous felspar”. — p. 215225 Same metal in Tasco vein in Mica Slate & overlying Limestone226 Balls of Silver ore occur in do veins.227 At Huantajaia. Humboldt says, mur of Silv. [,] Sulph. Of do. [,] galena [,] quartz, Carb. of Lime. accompany. — Ulloa has said silver in the Highest & gold in the lowest. Humboldt states that some of the richest gold mines on ridge of Cordillera near Pataz, also at Gualgayoc. where many petrified shells228 |

177e Bougainville says P 291. — The Fuegians treat the “chefs d’oeuvre de l[‘]industrie humaine, comme ils traitent les Loix de la nature & ses phenomenes.” —229 Ulloa’s Voyage, Shell fish purple die, marvelous statements on, Vol I, P. 168. on coast of Guayaquil, same as Galapogos.230 no Hydrophobia at Quito. P 281. do do231 Australia, C. of Good Hope. — Azores Isds [nor at St Helena. —]232 Humboldt. New Spain Vol. IV. [p. 58.] At Acapulco earthquakes are recognized as coming form three directions. From W. NW & S. — last to Seaward233 . . .

188 For such a map see Alexander von Humboldt, Atlas géographique et physique des regions equinoxiales du nouveau continent (Paris [F. Schoell], 1814), plate 5entitled “Esquisse hyposométrique des noeuds de montagnes et des ramifications de la Cordillère des Andes depuis le Cap de Horn jusqu’a l’Isthme de Panama…” The library of the Geological Society of London does not presently hold a copy of this atlas, although, according to the librarian, it once may have. It does hold a presentation copy of the first four volumes of an octavo edition of Humboldt’s voyage published in Paris by Librairie grecque latine-allemande. Volumes 1 and 2 are dated 1816; volumes 3 and 4, 1817. The title pages of these volumes refer to an accompanying atlas, but, from the evidence of the library catalogues, it is questionable whether one was published specifically for this edition.

189 Woodbine Parish (note 143), personal communication. Parish did not include this account in Buenos Ayres.

197 Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain (London, 1811), vol. 3, p. 113. Quoted correctly with minor variations in capitalization, punctuation, and the insertion of ‘&’ for ‘and’.

201 Humboldt, Political Essay of the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, pp. 129-130:The Mexican veins are to be found for the most part in primitive and transition rocks…and rarely in the rocks of secondary formation…In the old continent granite, gneiss, and micaceous slate (glimmer-schiefe) constitute the crest of high chains of mountains. But these rocks seldom appear outwardly on the ridge of the Cordilleras of America, particularly in the central part contained between the 18° and 22° of north latitude. Beds of amphibolic porphyry, greenstone, amygdaloid, basalt and other trap formations of an enormous thickness cover the granite and conceal it from the geologist. The coast of Acapulco is formed of granite rock. Ascending towards the table land of Mexico we see the granite pierce through the porphyry for the last time between Zumpango and Sopilote. Farther to the east in the province of Oaxaca the granite and gneiss are visible in table lands of considerable extent traversed by veins of gold.”

202 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 131. The original sentence reads "The porphyries. . ."

203 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, pp. 131-132: "They [the Mexican porphyries] are all characterized by the constant presence of amphibole and the absence of quartz, so common in the primitive porphyries of Europe, and especially in those which form beds in gneiss. The common felspar is rarely to be seen in the Mexican porphyries; and it belongs only to the most antient formations, those of Pachuca, Real del Monte and Moran, where the veins furnish twice as much silver as all Saxony. We frequently discover only vitreous felspar in the porphyries of Spanish America. The rock which is intersected by the rich gold vein of Villalpando near Guanaxuato is a porphyry of which the basis is somewhat a kin to klingstein (phonolite), and in which amphibole is extremely rare. Several of these parts of New Spain bear a great analogy to the problematical rocks of Hungary, designated by M. Born by the very vague denomination of saxum metalliferum. The veins of Zimapan which are the most instructive in respect to the theory of the stratification of minerals are intersected by porphyries of a greenstone base which appear to belong to trap rocks of new formation. These veins of Zimapan offer to oryctognostic collections a great variety of interesting minerals such as the fibrous zeolith, the stilbite, the grammalite, the pyenite, native sulphur, spar fluor, barite suberiform asbestos, green grenats, carbonate and chromate of lead, orpiment, chrysoprase, and a new species of opal of the rarest beauty, which I made known in Europe, and which M. M. Karsten and Klaproth have described under the name of (feuer-opal)."

204 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, pp. 133-134: " In proportion as the north of Mexico shall be examined by intelligent geologists, it will be perceived that the metallick wealth of Mexico does not exclusively belong to primitive earths and mountains of transition, but extend also to those of secondary formation. I know not whether the lead which is procured in the eastern parts of the intendancy of San Luis Potosi is found in veins or beds, but it appears certain, that the veins of silver of the real de Catorce, as well as those of the Doctor and Xaschi near Zimapan, traverse the alpine lime-stone (alpenkalkstem); and this rock reposes on a poudingue with silicious cement which may be considered as the most antient of secondary formations. The alpine lime-stone and the jura lime-stone (jurakalkstein) contain the celebrated silver mines of Tasco and Teuilotepec in the intendancy of Mexico; and it is in these calcareous rocks that the numerous veins which in this country have been very early wrought, display the greatest wealth. . . . The result of this general view of the metalliferous depositories (erzführende lagerstätte) is that the cordilleras of Mexico contain veins in a great variety of rocks, and that those rocks which at present furnish almost the whole silver annually exported from Vera Cruz, are the primitive slate, the grauwakke, and the alpine lime-stone, intersected by the principal veins of Guanaxuato, Zacatecas and Catorce."

205 Friedrich Hoffmann, Geschichte der Geognosie (Berlin, 1838), the section 'Dämpfe verändern die vulkanischen Gesteine', pp. 480-481. This entry is written in small handwriting in light brown ink, as are all other bracketed entries on page 165e.

206 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 128: "How can he [the naturalist] draw general results from the observation of a multitude of small phenomena [regarding metalliferous deposits], modified by causes of a purely local nature, and appearing to be the effects of an action of chemical affinities, circum scribed to a very narrow space?"

207 Eilhert Mitscherlich, 'On Artificial Crystals of Oxide of Iron', Edinburgh Journal of Natural and Geographic Science, vol. 2 (1830), p. 302: "So greatly do these [crystals of oxide of iron in a pottery furnace] resemble the crystals [of specular iron] from volcanoes, that the same theory of formation may be applied to both. The first are formed in a pottery furnace, in which the vessels, when baked, are glazed by means of common salt. The clay used consists principally of silica, alumina, and a little oxide of iron. The salt is volatilized, and water coming in contact with the surface of the vessels, new compounds are produced, the water is decomposed, muriatic acid is formed, and the soda produced unites with the silica to make the necessary glass. As to the oxide of iron, its history will be best understood by an experiment or two. If a mixture of salt, oxide of iron, and silica, be heated to redness in a tube, and water in vapour be passed over it, much muriatic acid is formed, but very little chloride of iron, and crys­tallized oxide of iron will be found in the mass: but if muriatic acid be brought in contact with ignited oxide of iron, water and chloride of iron are formed, and sublime; if the chloride of iron come in contact with more water, muriatic acid is first developed, then chloride of iron, and a residue of crystallized oxide of iron remains. The formation of chloride of iron by the action of muriatic acid upon oxide of iron appears, therefore, to depend upon the proportion of water present. M. Mitscherlich applies these experiments and principles in explanation of the manner in which volcanic crystallized oxide of iron is formed —all the conditions necessary, according to the above view, being present in those cases, where heretofore it had been supposed the oxide of iron, as such, had been actually sublimed."

208 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 134, " Thus it is in a primitive slate (ur-thon schiefer) on which a clayey porphyry containing grenats reposes, that the wealth of Potosi in the kingdom of Buenos-Ayres is contained.

216 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, pp. 180-183: "This free-stone (urfelsconglomerat) is a brescia with clayey cement, mixed with oxide of iron, in which are imbedded angulous fragments of quartz, Lydian stone, syenite, porphyry, and splintery hornstone. . . .This formation of old free stone is the same with that which appears at the surface in the plains of the river Amazon, in South America. . . .We must not confound the brescia which contains imbedded fragments of primitive and transition rock, with another freestone, which may be designated by the name of felspar agglomeration. . . .This agglomeration. . . .is composed of grains of quartz, small fragments of slate, and felspar chrystals, partly broken, and partly remaining untouched. . . .Probably the destruction of porphyries has had the greatest influence on the formation of this felspar freestone. It contrasts with the freestone of the Old Continent, in which some chrystals of grenats and amphibole have been found, but never. . . .felspar in any abundance. The most experienced mineralogist, after examining the position of the lozero [agglomeration] of Guanaxuato, would be tempted to take it at first view, for a porphyry with clayey base, or for a porphyritic brescia (trümmer porphyr). . . .These formations of old freestone of Guanaxuato, serve as bases to other secondary beds, which in their position, that is to say in the order of their superposition, exhibit the greatest analogy with the secondary rocks of central Europe. In the plains of Temascatio. . . .there is a compact limestone. . . ."

217 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 185: "The vein (veta madre) [of Guanaxuato] traverses both clay slate and porphyry. In both of these rocks, very considerable wealth has been found. Its mean direction is. . . .[N. 52° W.] and is nearly the same with that of the veta grande of Zacatecas, and of the veins of Tasco and Moran, which are all western veins (spathgänge). The inclination of the vein of Guanaxuato, is 45 or 48 degrees to the south west." Also pp. 186-187: "The veta madre of Guanaxuato, bears a good deal of resemblance to the celebrated vein of Spital of Schemnitz, in Hungary. The European miners who have had occasion to examine both these depositories of minerals, have been in doubt whether to consider them as true veins, or as metalliferous beds (erzlager). . . .If the veta madre was really a bed, we should not find angular fragments of its roof contained in its mass, as we generally observe on points where the roof is a slate charged with carbone, and the wall a talc slate. In a vein, the roof and the wall are deemed anterior to the formation of the crevice, and to the minerals which have successfully filled it; but a bed has undoubtedly pre-existed to the strata of the rock which compose its roof. [Hence] we may discover in a bed fragments of the wall, but never pieces detached from the roof."

222 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 189. Quoted exactly except for minor variations in punctuation, the abbreviation of 'and' to ' &' and the lack of emphasis on foreign words by way of underlining.

223 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 205: "The veta grande, or principal vein [at Zacatecas], has the same direction as the veta madre of Guanaxuato; the others are generally in a direction from east to west." And p. 207: "This wealth is displayed. . . .not in the ravins, and where the veins run along the gentle slope of the mountains, but most frequently on the most elevated summits, on points where the surface appears to have been tumultuously torn, in the antient revolutions of the globe."

224 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 210: "The greatest number of these veins [at Catorce] are western (spathgänge); and their inclination is from 25° to 30° towards the north east." P. 223: ". . . .the vein of Moran . . . .inclined 84° to the north east. . . ." P. 226: "The oldest rock which appears at the surface in this district of mines [at Tasco], is the primitive slate. . . .. Its direction is hor. 3-4; and its inclination 40° to the north-west. . . .." Also p. 227: "The district of mines of Tasco. . . . contains a great number of veins. . . . all directed from the north­west to the south-east, hor. 7-9."

225 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 215: "What relation exists between these last beds [of porphyry], which several distinguished mineralogists consider as volcanic productions, and the porphyries of Pachuca, Real del Monte, and Moran, in which nature has deposited enormous masses of sulfuretted silver and argentiferous pyrites? This problem which is one of the most difficult in geology, will only be resolved when a great number of zealous and intelli­gent travellers, shall have gone over the Mexican Cordilleras, and carefully studied the immense variety of porphyries which are destitute of quartz, and which abound both in hornblend and vitreous felspar."

226 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 227: "These veins [in the mining districts of Tasco and the Real de Tehuilotepec], like those of Catorce, traverse both the limestone and the micaceous slate which serves for its base; and they exhibit the same metals in both rocks."

227 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 230: "This formation [of veins, one of four types existing at Tasco and Tehuilotepec] which is the richest of all, displays the remarkable phenomenon, that the minerals the most abun­dant in silver, form spheroidal balls, from ten to twelve centimeters in diameter. . . .."

228 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, pp. 347-348: "The mines of Huantajaya, surrounded with beds of rock salt are particularly celebrated on account of the great masses of native silver which they contain in a decomposed gangue; and they furnish annually between 70 and 80 thousand marcs of silver. The muriate of conchoidal silver, sulphuretted silver, galena with small grains, quartz, carbonate of lime, accompany the native silver." Also pp. 348-349: " [Antonio de] Ulloa after travelling over a great part of the Andes, affirms that silver is peculiar to the high table lands of the Cordilleras, called Punas or Paramos, and that gold on the other hand abounds in the lowest, and consequently warmest regions; but this learned traveller appears to have forgot that in Peru the richest provinces in gold are the partidos of Pataz and Huailas, which are on the ridge of the Cordilleras. . . .. It [gold] has also been extracted from the right bank of the Rio de Micuipampa, between the Cerro de San Jose, and the plain called by the natives, Choropampa or plain of shells, on account of an enormous quantity of ostracites, cardium and other petrifications of sea shells contained in the formation of alpine limestone of Gualgayoc."

229 Louis Antoine de Bougainville, Voyage autour du monde. . . .1766-1769, (2nd ed.; Paris, 1772), vol. 1, p. 291: "Ces hommes bruts [the Fuegians] traitoient les chefs-d-œuvre de 1'industrie humaine, comme ils traitent les loix de la nature & ses phénomènes."See JR, p.242.

230 Juan and Ulloa, A Voyage to South America, vol. 1, pp. 168-169: "On the coast [at Guayaquil]. . . .is found that exquisite purple, so highly esteemed among the ancients; but the fish from which it was taken, having been either unknown or for­gotten, many moderns have imagined the species to be extinct. This colour, however, is found in a species of shell-fish growing on rocks washed by the sea. They are some­thing larger than a nut, and are replete with a juice, probably the blood, which, when expressed, is the true purple; for if a thread of cotton, or any thing of a similar kind, be dipt in this liquor, it becomes of a most vivid colour, which repeated washings are so far from obliterating, that they rather improve it; nor does it fade by wearing. . . . .Stuffs died with this purple are also highly valued. This precious juice is extracted by different methods. Some take the fish out of its shell, and laying it on the back of their hand, press it with a knife from the head to the tail, separating that part of the body into which the compression has forced the juice, and throw away the rest. In this manner they proceed till they have provided themselves with a sufficient quantity. Then they draw the threads through the liquor, which is the whole process. But the purple tinge does not immediately appear, the juice being at first of a milky colour; it then changes to green; and, lastly, into this celebrated purple. Others pursue a diff­erent method in extracting the colour; for they neither kill the fish, nor take it en­tirely out of its shell; but squeeze it so hard as to express a juice, with which they die the thread, and afterwards replace the fish on the rock whence it was taken."

231 Juan and Ulloa, A Voyage to South America, vol. 1, p. 281: "As the pestilence, whose ravages among the human species in Europe, and other parts, are so dreadful, is unknown both at Quito and throughout all America, so is also the madness in dogs. And though they have some idea of the pestilence, and call those diseases similar in their effects by that name, they are entirely ignorant of the canine madness; and express their astonishment when an European [sic] relates the melancholy effects of it."

232 This entry is written in light brown ink.

233 Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 4, p. 58: "It is observed at Acapulco that the shakes take three different directions, sometimes coming from the west by the isthmus [which separates Acapuico from the Bay de la Langosta de la Abra de San Nicolas]. . . . sometimes from the north west as if they were from the volcano de Colima, and sometimes coming from the south. The earthquakes which are felt in the direction of the south are attributed to submarine volcanoes; for they see here, what I often observed at night in the Callao of Lima, that the sea becomes suddenly agitated in a most alarming manner in calm and serene weather when not a breath of wind is blowing." This entry is written in light brown ink.

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"Darwin’s Journal. Notebooks on Transmutation of Species Part 1. First Notebook (July 1837-February 1838.)” In: Sir Gavin De Beer (ed.), Bulletin of the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969, p. 35.

That Darwin was indebted to Humboldt in a general way was known already from the Autobiography, but the Notebook shows (p. 142) that Humboldt’s Personal Narrative contains a remark which reinforces that of von Buch: “The exclusion of all foreign mixture contributes to perpetuate varieties, or the aberrations from a common standard.”

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"Darwin’s Journal. Notebooks on Transmutation of Species Part 1. First Notebook (July 1837-February 1838.)” In: Sir Gavin De Beer (ed.), Bulletin of the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969, p. 45.

. . . 32 Dr Smith4 says he is certain that when white man and Hottentots or Negroes cross at C[ape] of Good Hope, the children cannot be made intermediate. The first childrenpartake more of the mother, the later ones of the father ; is not this owing to eachcopulation producing its effect ; as when bitches’ puppies are less purely bred owing to having once born mongrels. He has thus seen the black blood come out from thegrandfather (when the mother was nearly quite white) in the two first children. How isthis in West Indies — Humboldt,5 New Spain. — . . .

4 Dr, later Sir Andrew Smith. Personal friend of Darwin who met him in South Africa in June 1836.

5 Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. Political essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, transl. from the original French by John Black, New York 1811.

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"Darwin’s Journal. Notebooks on Transmutation of Species Part 1. First Notebook (July 1837-February 1838.)” In: Sir Gavin De Beer (ed.), Bulletin of the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969, p. 52.

. . . 92 Humboldt1 has written on the geography of plants : Essai sur la Geographie des Plantes. I vol. in 4°. I have abstracted Mr Swainson’s2 tract at beginning of Volume on geographical distribution of animals. . . .

1 Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. Essai sur la géographie des plantes, Paris 1805. [= Vol. 2 part V of Humboldt, F. H. A. von, & Bonpland, A. J. A.: — Voyage aux regions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent, fait en 1799-1804, Paris 1805-1837].

2 William Swainson. A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals. Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia, London 1835, chapter I.

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Darwin’s Journal. Notebooks on Transmutation of Species Part 1. First Notebook (July 1837-February 1838.)” In: Sir Gavin De Beer (ed.), Bulletin of the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969, p. 58.

. . . 142 Kirby8 says (not definite information) west of Rocky Mountains Asiatic types discernible. — Bridgewater Treatise, p. 85. Parasites of negroes different from European.9 — Horse and ox have different parasites in different climates. — Humb[oldt],10 Vol. V, P. II, p. 565. Consult. Says types most subject to vary where intermixture precluded. — . . .

8 William Kirby, op. cit. vol. I, p. 52 : “On the Rocky Mountains, and in the country westward of that range, Asiatic types are discoverable, both in the vegetable and animal kingdoms.”

9 William Kirby. Op. cit. vol. I, p. 85 : “Little stress will be laid on the parasite of the negroes (Pediculus Nigritarum), being specifically distinct from that which infests the whites, when we reflect that the horse and the ox have different parasites and assailants in different climates.”

10 Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent, during the years 1799-1804, translated by Helen Maria Williams, London 1821, vol. V, p. 565: “The exclusion of all foreign mixture contributes to perpetuate varieties, or the aberrations from a common standard. ”

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Darwin’s Journal. Notebooks on Transmutation of Species Part 1. First Notebook (July 1837-February 1838.)” In: Sir Gavin De Beer (ed.), Bulletin of the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969, p. 60–61.

. . . 156 Von Buch6 — Canary Islands: French Edit. — Flora of Islands very poor (p. 145): 25 plants [Tristan da Cunha]. 36 St. Helena without ferns. — Analogous to nearest continent ; poorness in exact proportion to distance (?) and similarity of type (?) (Mem.: Juan Fernandez7). From study of Flora of islands : “ou bien encore on pourrait au plus en conclure quells sont les genres qui, sous ce climat, se divisent le plus aisément en espèces distinctes et permanentes”, p. 145. In Humboldt8 great work De distributione plantarum . . .

6 Leopold von Buch. Description physique des Iles Canaries, par Léopold de Buch traduite de l’Allemand par C. Boulanger, Paris 1836, p. 144 : “Le célèbre naturaliste français Du Petit-Thouars ne trouve, sur l’Ile de Tristan d’Acunha . . . pas plus de 25 différentes espèces de plantes phanérogames, dont les unes rappellent la végétation du Cap, les autres celle de l’Amérique, à peu prés également distante, et leur nombre à Sainte- Hélène, d’après le Catalogue de Risburgh, ne monte pas à plus de 36 espèces.

7Charles Lyell. Principles of Geology, vol. 2, London 1832, p. 154 has a reference to the introduction of goats into Juan Fernandez.

8 Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. De Distributione geographica plantarum secundum coeli temperiem et altitudinem montium, prolegomena, Lutetiae Parisiorum, 1817, p. 39 : “si, in singula zona, specierum numerum cum numero generum confers, cui illae adscribuntur, tum versus polum, tum versus cacumina montium, longe plura genera invenies, quam locis planis et calidioribus. Sic alit Gallia inter 3645 species phanerogamas 683 genera, cum in Laponia 487 Phanerogamae ad 212 genera referuntur ; unde rationes giunt 5, 7 : I et 2, 3 : I.”

_____________________________________________________________________

Darwin’s Journal. Notebooks on Transmutation of Species Part 1. First Notebook (July 1837-February 1838.)” In: Sir Gavin De Beer (ed.), Bulletin of the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969, p. 138.

. . . 69 It is important with respect to extinction of species, the capability of only small amount of change at any one time.

Seeing what Von Buch1 (Humboldt)2 G. St. Hilaire,3 & Lamarck4 have written I pretend to no originality of idea — (though I arrived at them quite independently & have used them since) the line of proof & reducing facts to law only merit if merit there be in following work. —

The history of medicine, the extraordinary effects of different medium on oranges leads one to suspect any amount of change from eating different kinds of foo. Grazing animals which eat every species new. — . . .

1 Leopold von Buch. Description physique des iles Canaries, Paris, 1836, p. 144. (cf. Darwin’s First Notebook MS. p. 156) ; Ibid. p. 148, (cf. Darwin’s First Notebook MS. p. 158).

2 Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent, during the years 1799-1804, London 1821, vol. 5, p. 565. (cf. Darwin’s First Notebook MS. p. 142).

3 Etienne Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire. Principles de philosophie zoologique, Paris 1830. (cf. Darwin’s First Notebook MS. passim.)

4 Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck. Philosophie Zoologique, Paris 1809. Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres, 1815, Paris (cf. Darwin’s First Notebook passim.).

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Paul H. Barrett, The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin.
London: University of Chicago Press, 1977.
Volume I, pp. 21-22
[A letter, Containing Remarks on the Moral State of Tahiti, New Zealand, &c.]
[At sea, 28 June 1836]

. . . Surely, if three years sufficed to change the natures of such cannibal wretches as Fuegians, and transform them into well behaved, civilized people, who were very much liked by their English friends, there is some cause for thinking that a savage is not irreclaimable, until advanced in life; however repugnant to our ideas have been his early habits.

Humboldt4 says,-

“If in the great and useful establishment of the American missions, those improvements were gradually made, which have been demanded by several bishops; if, instead of recruiting missionaries at hazard in the Spanish convents, young ecclesiastics were prepared for these functions in seminaries or colleges of missions founded in America, the military expeditions which I proposed would become useless.

“Even those Indians, who, proud of their independence and their separate state, refuse to suffer themselves to be governed by the sound of the bell, receive with pleasure the visit of a neighbouring missionary.

“By leaving the Indians to enjoy more of the fruits of their labors, and by governing them less,- that is, by not shackling every instant their natural liberty,- the missionaries would see the sphere of their activity, which ought to be that of civilization, rapidly increase.

“Monastic establishments have diffused in the equinoctial part of the New World, as in the north of Europe, the first germs of social life.

“They still form a vast zone around the European possessions; and, whatever abuses may have crept into institutions, where all power is confounded in one, they would be with difficulty replaced by others, which, without producing more serious inconveniences, would be as little chargeable, and as well adapted to the silent phlegm of the natives.

“I shall recur again to these settlements, the political importance of which is not sufficiently understood in Europe. It will be sufficient here to observe that expeditions of discovery, accompanied by an armed force, would be useless, were the government and the bishops to employ themselves seriously in the melioration of the missions.

“The progress of the missionaries would become rapid, if (after the example of the Jesuits) extraordinary succours were assigned to the most distant missions; and if the most intelligent and courageous ecclesiastics, and those best versed in the Indian languages, were placed in the most advanced posts.

“In both Americas the missionaries arrive every where first, because they find facilities which are wanting to every other traveller.

“ ‘You boast of your journeys beyond Lake Superior,’ said an Indian of Canada to some fur-traders of the United States; ‘you forgot, then, that the black coats passed it long before you; and that it was they who showed you the way to the west?’” . . .

4 See Alexander Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland, Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent during the Years 1799-1804, trans. H. M. Williams, 7 vols. (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1814-29).

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Paul H. Barrett, The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin.
London: University of Chicago Press, 1977.
Volume I, pp. 58-76

[Excerpts from “On the Connexion of Certain Volcanic Phenomena in South America; and on the Formation of Mountain Chains and Volcanos, as the Effect of the Same Power by which Continents Are Elevated. – Delivered on March 7, 1838, published in 1840.]

Observations on the Earthquake in Chile of Feb. 20th, 1835

. . . Humboldt13 remarks, that the inhabitants of the Andes, speaking of an intermediary ground, which is not affected by the general motion, say with simplicity, "that it forms a bridge" (que hace puente); and he adds, "as if they meant to indicate by this expression, that the undulations were propagated at an immense depth under an inert rock."14 . . .

On the Identity of the Force which Elevates Continents, with that which Causes Volcanic Outbursts

. . . It has frequently happened, that during the same convulsion large areas of the globe have been agitated, and strange noises propagated to countries many hundred miles apart15; but in these cases, it is not possible to form any conjecture over how wide an extent, any actual change has taken place in the subterranean regions. It is different, when we hear from Humboldt, that at the moment when the volcano of Pasto ceased to eject a column of smoke, the city of Riobamba, sixty leagues to the southward, was overwhelmed by an earthquake; for the effect here produced certainly cannot be explained by the mere transmission of a vibration.16 . . .

On Periods of Increased Volcanic Action Affecting Large Areas

. . . Humboldt, when describing certain volcanic phenomena in that part of South America which borders the West-Indian sea, seems to consider, that periods of increased activity affect large portions of the surface of the earth. He has drawn up the two following tables,21 to which I have added a third, containing the remarkable events that happened during the years 1834 and 1835:

1st. Table of Volcanic Phenomena

1796

November

The volcano of Pasto began to emit smoke.

1797

February 4th

Destruction of Riobamba.

-

September 27th

Eruption in the West-Indian Islands
Volcano of Guadeloupe.

-

December 14th

Destruction of Cumana.

2nd Table

1811

May

Beginning of the earthquakes in the Island of St. Vincent, which lasted till May 12th.

-

December 16th

Beginning of the commotions in the Valley of the Mississippi and the Ohio, which lasted till 1813.

-

December

Earthquake of Caraccas.

1812

March 26th

Destruction of Caraccas, earthquakes, which continued till 1813.

-

April 30th

Eruption of the volcano in St. Voncent's, and on the same day, subterranean noises at Caraccas and on the bank of the Apure.

3rd Table

1834

January 20th

Sabiondoy, lat. 1° 15' N. (near Pasto), dreadful earthquake; eighty persons perished; town of Santiago swallowed up.

-

May 22nd

Santa Martha, lat. 11° 30' N.; two-thirds of the town thrown down; in course of a few days, sixty bad shocks.

-

September 7th

Jamaica,-violent earthquake, town not much damaged.

1835

January 20th

Osorno, lat. 40° 31' S. in eruption

-

Before daylight

Aconcagua, lat 32° 30' S. in eruption.

-

in the morning

Coseguina, lat. 13° N. in terrific eruption, continuing in activity during the two ensuing months.

-

February 12th

Earthquake at sea, very strong off the coast of Guyana.

-

February 20th

Juan Fernandez, lat. 33° 30' S., submarine eruption.

-

11 1/2 A.M.

Conception, (lat. 36° 40' S.), and all the neighbouring towns destroyed by an earthquake; the coast permanently elevated. Volcanos along the whole length of the Cordillera of Chile in eruption. N.B. These volcanos remained in activity for some months subsequently, and many earthquakes were felt.

-

November 11th

Concepcion, severe earthquake; Osorno and Corcovado in violent action.

-

December 5th

Osorno fell in with a grand explosion.

With respect to these tables, it must be observed, that we can never feel sure that the connexion of volcanic phenomena at very distant points is real, until some strongly marked event takes place during the same moment at those points, the intermediate country being likewise affected to a certain degree. In the first two tables, the connexion of the West-Indian vents and the coast of Venezuela may be admitted as almost certain,22 nor is the distance very great, being at most only 400 miles. But when, on the one hand, we include Quito, distant from the above area more than 1200 miles, and, on the other, the Valley of the Mississippi, the case is very much more doubtful. The coincidence certainly is very remarkable, both in regard to the commencement and the cessation of the long series of earthquakes which affected South Carolina, the basin of the Mississippi, the Leeward Islands, and Venezuela: yet New Madrid is more than 2000 miles from the latter. A repetition alone of such coincidences can determine how far the increased activity of the subter­ranean powers, at points so remote, is the effect of some general law, or of accident.

We now come to the third table, with which we are more particularly concerned. I have already described in detail the remarkable volcanic phenomena which happened, in connexion with each other, on the morning of February 20th, 1835, and likewise during the subsequent year.

On January 20th, one month previously, three eruptions, as stated in the table, occurred almost at the same hour in very distant points of the Cordillera. Near midnight on the 19th, the summit of Osorno shone like a great star in the horizon; and this appearance soon increased into a magnificent glare of light, in the midst of which, by the aid of a telescope, great dark bodies were seen to shoot upward and to fall down in endless succession. When I was at Valparaiso some time afterwards, Mr. Byerbache, a resident merchant, informed me, that sailing out of the harbour one night very late, he was awakened by the captain to see the volcano of Aconcagua in activity. As this is a most rare event I recorded the date. Some time afterwards papers arrived from Central America giving an account of one of the most fearful eruptions of modern times.23 "On the 19th of January, after twenty-six years' repose, a slight noise, attended with smoke, proceeded from the mountain of Coseguina. On the following morning (the 20th) about half-past six o'clock, a cloud of very unusual size and shape was observed by the inhabitants to rise in the direction of this volcano." Enormous quantities of ashes and pumice were then ejected, and the air was darkened, and the ground convulsed, during the three succeeding days. Nearly two months afterwards the volcano was in action. Mr. Caldcleugh observes, that perhaps the only parallel case on record is the well-known explosion of Sumbawa in 1815.

When I compared the dates of these three events, I was astonished to find that they agreed within less than six hours of each other. Aconcagua is only 480 miles north of Osorno, but Coseguina is about 2700 north of Aconcagua. It may be asked, were these three eruptions, which burst through the same chain of mountains, in any respect connected, or was the coincidence accidental? We cannot be too cautious in guarding against the assumption that phenomena are connected, because they happen at periods bearing some determined relation to each other. If we wished to show that the subterranean forces acted after periods of a century, as has sometimes been believed, we might adduce the case of Lima, violently shaken by an earthquake on the 17th of June, 1578, and again on the very same day in 1678; or the eruptions of Coseguina in the years 1709 and 1809, which are the only two on record previous to that of 1835. Again, we might urge, on such grounds, that the Guatimala convulsions follow, at the interval of one year, those near Pasto; for a district in the neighbourhood of the latter place was overthrown by a violent shock precisely one year before the explosion of Coseguina; both having occurred on the 20th of January. Cosme Bueno imagined that this relation actually did exist between the subterranean movements in Guatimala and Peru, and this case makes one more to the list which I have subjoined24 as extracted from Humboldt. With respect to the simultaneous eruptions of Aconcagua and Osorno, there is little dif­ficulty in admitting that they may have been connected, because in this same region, and only a month subsequently, volcanos further apart were affected by the same impulse. There is nevertheless this remarkable difference in the two cases; the last, or that of February the 20th, was a period of commotion throughout the kingdom of Chile, while the simultaneous eruption of Aconcagua and Osorno appears to have been unaccompanied by any general movement in the subterranean regions. This eruption, probably, was the first indication of those great volcanic disturbances which ensued exactly one month afterwards; for it seems to be a very general occurrence in earthquakes, that weak spasms precede the worst convulsions. Thus, in 1822, on the 4th of November, Copiapo (lat. 27° 10') was visited by a severe shock, which damaged many houses; and was followed the next day by a much more violent earth­quake, which nearly destroyed the town, and did considerable injury to that of Coquimbo, in lat. 29° 50'.25 On the 19th of the same month Valparaiso was almost destroyed. Other instances26 might be brought forward to show that most earthquakes, though appearing sudden, are in truth parts of a prolonged action, as evinced both by the events which precede and those which follow it.

Although, possibly, we may allow that the eruptions of Aconcagua and Osorno, occurring in the middle of the same night, were connected together, and formed a part of the great subsequent disturbances,—yet what must we conclude respecting their coincidence with Coseguina, so immensely remote? The case is rendered far more extraordinary by two of the three volcanos being generally quiescent. Coseguina, according to Mr. Caldcleugh, burst forth after twenty-six years of repose; and Aconcagua so seldom manifests any signs of activity, that it had even been doubted whether any part of this gigantic mass, with an altitude of more than 23,000 feet, is of volcanic origin. To illustrate the case: if we suppose Stromboli and Vesuvius to be in violent eruption on the same hour of the night, little would be thought of the coincidence; but it would be otherwise if this should happen with Vesuvius and Etna; and our surprise would be greatly increased if we afterwards heard that Hekla, after twenty-six years' repose, had burst forth at the same time with tremendous explosions. Nevertheless, if such a coincidence had occurred in Europe, a country possessing no unity of character, and the two points not being more than 2000 miles apart, it is very doubtful how far the phenomenon would have been worthy of consideration. But the case is different in America, where the volcanic orifices all fall on one great wall or fissure, (for the Andes may be indifferently so called,) and where the immensity of the level area on the eastern side, proves with what wonderful equability the subterranean forces have acted on this portion of the globe. Moreover, when a line of coast more than two thousand geographical miles in length has been elevated (as I hope hereafter to prove) within a period so recent, that, as compared to the countless past ages of which we possess records in the works of nature, it may be reckoned as unity; on such a coast it ceases to be improbable, in any excessive degree, that the many impulses which together have produced the one grand effect, should sometimes have been absolutely simul­taneous.

It has long been remarked, that the vents throughout the Cordillera may be grouped into several systems. Thus we have already shown, that the extreme southern volcanos are connected with those of Central Chile; and I was informed by an intelligent resident that he had seen Aconcagua and two volcanos northward of it, in great activity together:—we thus have a portion of the Andes 780 geographical miles in length (about the distance from the south of England to Vesuvius) forming one connected system. Ulloa27 states, that when Lima was overthrown in 1746, three volcanos near Patas and one near Lucanas burst forth; these places being 480 miles apart from each other. Moreover, Arequipa, to the south, has twice (1582 and 1687) been affected by severe earthquakes simul­taneously with Lima. The distance between Arequipa (where there is an active volcano) and Patas is rather more than 600 miles; and this perhaps may form a second system.

Humboldt28 says, "it appears probable that the higher part of the kingdom of Quito, and the neighbouring Cordillera, far from being a group of distinct volcanos, constitute a single swollen mass, an enormous volcanic wall stretching from north to south, and the crest of which exhibits a surface of more than six hundred square leagues. Cotapaxi, Tunguragua, Antisana, and Pichincha, are placed in this same vault, on this raised ground." He afterwards shows, from the phenomenon already alluded to, of the cessation of the column of smoke at the moment when Riobamba was overthrown, the connexion of these volcanos with those of Pasto and Popayan. This joint system is rather less than 300 miles in length. Again, to the north at Guatimala, Mexico, and California, we have three groups of volcanos, each system being a few hundred miles apart.

The connexion between the vents in each separate system has been, in some places, plainly shown, and is extremely probable in all; but what relation the different systems bear to each other is more doubtful. I am not aware of any fact on record, similar to the contemporaneous eruption of Osorno and Aconcagua with Coseguina. It must not, however, be overlooked, that such events may have happened every year since the Spanish conquest, without the coincidence having once been detected. Excepting from the concurrence of two accidents, I should never have known of this case. On that same night every vent in the Cordillera might have shown transient signs of activity, and six months afterwards it would have been as impossible to have discovered that such had happened, as to have ascertained whether the next day were bright or clouded. There are some active and some nearly extinct craters, in the interval between the Chilian and Peruvian systems, (which is the longest of any, being 900 miles,) but they are situated in countries very thinly peopled, and in some parts entirely desert; and who is there in such cases to record phenomena, which, even if beheld, are thought of little consequence?

Returning to the third table, I feel no doubt that the volcanic phenomena which occurred in S. America sometime previously as well as subsequently to the months of January and February 1835, were far more numerous than the average proportion during an equal length of time. This remark applies to the two tables copied from Humboldt. In looking at the dates of these events, it must be remembered that each date represents only the moment when the crust of the earth has given way beneath the force, which in some cases has already shown its action, and invariably continues to do so during a period, often of considerable length. Under this point of view, the earthquakes of Caraccas and New Madrid, of Coseguina and Conception, may be considered as actually contemporaneous.

From these various circumstances, I am strongly inclined to believe, that the subterranean forces manifest their action beneath a large portion of the South American continent, in the same intermittant manner as, in accordance with all observation, they do beneath isolated volcanos,— that is, remaining for a period dormant, and then bursting forth throughout considerable districts with renewed vigour.

Nature of the Earthquakes on the Coasts of South America

I will now more particularly consider the nature of the earthquakes which occur at irregular intervals on the coast of South America. It cannot be otherwise than difficult to trace their precise origin, but the following considerations, as it appears to me, lead to one conclusion alone—namely, that they are caused by the interjection of liquefied rock between masses of strata. Ulloa, in his travels,29 says,

Experience has sufficiently shown, especially in this country (South America), by the many volcanos in the Cordillera which pass through it, that the bursting of a new burning mountain causes a violent earth­quake, so as totally to destroy all the towns within its reach, as hap­pened at the opening of the volcano in the desert of Carguagoazo. This tremulous motion, which we may properly call an earthquake, does not so usually happen in case of a second eruption, when an aperture has been before made, or, at least, the motion it causes in the earth is comparatively but small.30

Although the bursting forth of a new vent may invariably be accom­panied by an earthquake, the converse is not true; for if it were, at Valparaiso, Concepcion, Lima, Caraccas, and other places, in the immediate neighbourhood of the part most violently shaken, an eruption must always have taken place, which, even if we suppose it to have occurred beneath the sea, is improbable in the highest degree. But we may suppose that these earthquakes are owing to some phenomenon analogous to volcanic eruptions. This opinion is much strengthened by the fact, that great earthquakes, like great eruptions, generally recur only after long intervals of repose, and they thus lead us to believe, that the subterranean force is relieved by either in the same manner. This, indeed, is the direct opinion of the inhabitants of the whole west coast of South America, who are firmly convinced of an intimate relation between the suppressed activity of the volcanos in the Andes and the tremblings of the ground. We have, also, seen that, when the island of Chiloe was strongly shaken, some men at work on the flanks of the Cordillera, between the volcanos of Osorno and Minchinmadom, (which both sent up dark columns of smoke, like signals to mark the new period of violence,) were quite unaware of the great convulsion, which then caused the shores of the Pacific to vibrate throughout a space of more than a thousand miles.

There is, however, one difference, although more apparent than real, between earthquakes like that of Concepcion, and those alluded to by Ulloa. In the former, it has almost invariably happened, at least in those on the South American coast, that a vast number of shocks have followed the first great convulsion,31 and these, as well as the accom­panying subterranean noises, having proceeded from the same quarter with the first shock, are therefore undoubtedly due to the very same cause, only acting with somewhat less intensity. Thus, even in the first twenty-four hours after the earthquake of 1746 at Lima, no less than 200 horrible (I use the language of its historian) shocks were counted. Now in the other case, Ulloa says, that when the orifice of eruption is once formed, the earth becomes nearly tranquil; yet we well know. that the volcano itself almost invariably continues in great activity for many weeks afterwards. Had Ulloa, however, stood near the crater itself, he would undoubtedly have felt those small tremors, which accompany each fresh explosion, as described by others who have been so circum­stanced. The tremors, therefore, seem analogous to the secondary shocks; and, this being so, the phenomena in the two cases are in every respect closely similar. In a primary volcanic outburst, we know the cause to be the explosion of liquid and aeriform matter, first through solid strata, and afterwards through a nearly open passage; hence we are led to conclude, that the cause of the simple earthquake, with its secondary shocks, are explosions of a similar nature, which, however, do not open a passage, but rend successively portions of the superincumbent masses.

At Concepcion, where the streets run in two series, at right angles to each other, the walls were affected, as already observed, according to their direction. This was strikingly exemplified in the cathedral, where the great buttresses, built of solid brickwork, were cut off as if by a chisel, and hurled to the ground; whilst the wall, to support which they had been vainly built, though much shattered, stood erect,—for the latter had its extremity directed towards the point whence the vibration travelled, but the buttresses were in lines parallel to the undulation. Nearly similar circumstances were observed32 in 1822 at Valparaiso. At the great earthquake of Caraccas the direction of the vibration was E.N.E. and W.S.W., and some definite direction appears to have been observed in almost every violent earthquake. Now, it may be asked, could a vibration, which had travelled upwards through the earth from a profound depth, be felt on the surface, as if it had come from a given point of the compass, and could it likewise determine the overthrow of walls according to their direction with respect to any such point? It appears to me clearly not; but that a vibration to produce such effects must be transmitted from the rending of strata, at a point not very deep below the surface of the earth.

Earthquakes generally affect elongated areas. In the shock of 1837, in Syria, the vibration was felt "on a line 500 miles in length by 90 in breadth."33 Humboldt34 remarks, that earthquakes follow the coast of New Andalusia in the same manner as they do that of Peru and Chile. Thus, at Valparaiso in 1822, the movement was felt along 880 miles of the shore of the Pacific; and at Concepcion, in 1835, for the greater length of more than 1000 miles; but on no occasion has the shock been transmitted across the Cordillera to a nearly equal distance. In 1835 the rocking of the ground was so gentle at Mendoza, that an old man, one of the inhabitants, (and every one in these countries is possessed with an almost instinctive power of perceiving the slightest tremor,) told me, that for some time he mistook the movement of the ground for a giddiness in his head, and that he called out to his friends that he was going to die. At Concepcion, Valparaiso, Lima, and Acapulco,35 the residents believe that the disturbance generally proceeds from the bottom of the neigh­bouring sea; and thus they explain the unquestionable fact,36 that the inland towns are generally much less injured than those near the coast. It does not appear, that the disturbance proceeds from any one point, but from many ranged in a band; otherwise the fact of the linear and unequal extension of earthquakes would be unintelligible. Thus, in 1835, the island of Chiloe, the neighbourhood of Concepcion, and Juan Fernandez, were all violently affected at the same time, and more so than the intermediate districts. In mountainous countries, such as New Andalusia, Peru, and Chile, when earthquakes follow coast lines, they may be said to extend parallel to the littoral chain of mountains.

The last consideration I shall enter on, as indicating the cause of earthquakes, is, that in South America they have sometimes (if not, as I believe, generally)37 been accompanied by elevations of the land; but this, judging from the Lima shock of 1746, does not appear to be a necessary concomitant, at least to a perceptible amount. It might at first be thought that, at Concepcion, the uplifting of the ground, which

accompanied the first and great shock, would by itself have accounted for the whole phenomenon of the earthquake. The great shock, however during the few succeeding days, was followed by some hundred minor ones (though of no inconsiderable violence), which seemed to come from the same quarter from which the first had proceeded; whilst, on the other hand, the level of the ground certainly was not raised by them; but on the contrary, after an interval of some weeks, it stood rather lower than it did immediately after the great convulsion,—a consequence, perhaps, of the settling down of the shaken ground. In the same manner, in 1822, at Valparaiso, the permanent change of level in the rocks on the coast was observed the morning next after the great shock; though the earth continued to tremble at intervals for many days. In these instances of change of level we have, then, a clear indication of some cause of disturbance, super-added to that which produced the vibrations, and which, it is highly probable, would accompany the simple elevation of the coast in mass.

From these considerations, we may, I think, fairly conclude, with regard to the earthquakes on the west coast of South America,

1st. That the primary shock is caused by a violent rending of the strata, which seems generally to occur at the bottom of the neighbouring sea.

2nd. That this is followed by many minor fractures, which, though extending upwards nearly to the surface, do not (excepting in the comparatively rare case of a submarine eruption) actually reach it.

3rd. That the area thus fissured extends parallel, or approximately so, to the neighbouring coast mountains.

4th. That when the earthquake is accompanied by an elevation of the land in mass, there is some additional cause of disturbance.

And lastly. That an earthquake, or rather the action indicated by it, relieves the subterranean force, in the same manner as an eruption through an ordinary volcano.

Now, what constitutes the axis, where visible, of most great mountain-chains? Is it not a wedge-formed linear mass of rock, which scarcely any geologist disputes was once fluid, and has since cooled under pressure? Must not the interjection of such matter between masses of strata have relieved the subterranean pressure in the same manner, as an ejection of lava and scoriae through a volcanic orifice? The dislocation having been effected in that portion of the upper crust of the earth, now forming a mountain, must not superficial vibrations, proceeding from a focus not deeply seated, have been propagated over the surrounding country? And, whatever direction these dislocations took, would not an area, elongated in the same line, have been affected by the vibration?

In drawing this parallel, I state my belief, that those earthquakes, with their secondary shocks, which are attended by such phenomena as accompanied the earthquake of Conception in 1835, are caused by the rending of great masses of strata, and their interjection by fluid rock;—a process which must have formed one step in a line of elevation.

The inhabitants of Concepcion believed, that the vibrations proceeded from the south-west, in which quarter subterranean noises were likewise frequently heard. It is, therefore, a most interesting circumstance, that the island of Santa Maria, situated 35 miles distant in this direction, was found by Captain Fitz-Roy to have been elevated to nearly three times the height that the coast near Concepcion was upraised. At Tubul, S. by E. of Santa Maria, the land was raised 6 feet; at the southern extremity of the latter island, 8 feet; in its middle, 9 feet; and at its northern extremity, upwards of 10 feet.38 These measurements, which were made with extreme care by Captain Fitz-Roy, seem to point out an axis of elevation in the sea off the northern end of Santa Maria.

There is one remark, which I must introduce here. The motion of the earth, on February 20th, 1835, at Valdivia, appeared to me like that of a crust, spread over an undulating fluid; and in my Journal, I have compared the motion to the bending of thin ice, beneath a moving weight. Afterwards, when I became convinced that the crust there does rest upon a sea of molten rock, my first impression regarding the movement was strongly confirmed. Michell long since observed, (Phil. Trans., 1760, p. 8) that "the motion of the earth in earthquakes is partly tremulous and partly propagated by waves, which succeed one another, sometimes at larger and sometimes at smaller distances; and this latter motion is generally propagated much further than the former." This distinction, I believe, is strictly true. Professor Phillips39 argues that rocks, although elastic in their parts, are "very imperfectly so in their mass, owing to the numerous divisions which intersect them. Composed of such materials," he says, "the crust of the earth does not, and in fact hardly can, vibrate, in the ordinary sense of this term; the motion observed is more similar to the undulation of a flexible lamina over an agitated liquid." The result arrived at by this reasoning thus coincides with mine, drawn from the impression on my senses; and it, at first, appears to explain, in a very satisfactory manner, the propagation to greater distances of the long and gentle undulations than of the vibra­tions, by the transmission of the former in the subterranean fluid, and of the latter in the crust of the earth. With respect, however, to the supposed want of elasticity in the crust of the earth, taken in mass, I cannot agree with Professor Phillips. Michell, (Phil. Trans., 1760, p. 35,) when he adduces the fact of the great vibration, or rather oscillation, during gales of wind, of steeples, and even towers,40 which may be said to be composed of a vast number of strata of different densities, and which are frequently traversed by fissures or faults, leaves scarcely any doubt on the mind that a similar and much greater vibration might be transmitted from the depths of the earth, where the parts must be pressed together with incomparably greater force than in any building. Plausible as is the foregoing explanation of the two kinds of movements, I do not believe it to be the correct one; for if an undulation be ever produced in the subterranean fluid expanse, we can hardly conceive a more powerful cause of it, than the upward rush of a great body of molten rock and aëriform matter from the lowest abyss of a volcano: but we know that eruptions on an enormous scale have happened through old vents, even in areas subject to far-extended and undulating earthquakes, without such movements having been produced. From this consideration, and from the fact that the force of earthquakes appears to have a definite relation to the thickness of crust ruptured, as we may conclude from the great difference in the effects caused by an eruption through an old, and one through a new orifice, I do not conceive we are justified in admitting the hypothesis of an undulating fluid. The two kinds of movements may, possibly, be explained, by considering that when the crust yields to the tension, caused by its gradual elevation, there is a jar at the moment of rupture, and a greater movement may be produced by the tilting up of the edges of the strata and by the passage of the fluid rock between them. In breaking a long bar of steel, would not a jar be caused by the fracture, as well as a vibration of the two ends when separate?

Mr. Hopkins,41 in his Researches on Physical Geology, has demon­strated, that when an elongated area is elevated by a force acting equally beneath all parts, if the strata yield, fissures must be formed parallel to its longer axis, and other minor ones transverse to it. Knowing then with certainty, that the coast of Chile, near Concepcion, was elevated on the 20th of February, and likewise that the area affected by the earthquake was elongated;—bearing also in mind, that several of these elevations have occurred, as attested both historically and by the extensive beds of recent species of shells, at the altitude of some hundred feet, we are absolutely compelled to believe, that the area (without we assume that the strata possessed extraordinary powers of extension) was at that time fissured in lines, the principal of which were parallel to its longer axis. If, however, the elevatory force acted unequally in different parts, as was the case in Chile, we can understand, from the admirable generalization of the same author, that separate fissures might be formed, which would produce at the same instant, in distant places, separate shocks, perhaps of different intensities. Hence we need not suppose, that the shocks felt more strongly at Juan Fernandez, Concepcion, and Chiloe, than at intermediate points, proceeded from any one focus, but that they were generated in each separate district,—the vibrations probably having, in each case, different directions.42 This explanation is, I think, far more satisfactory than that offered by Humboldt, of the supposed inertness of an intermediary mass of rock, in transmitting to the surface vibrations from a deeply-seated focus.

On Different Kinds of Earthquakes; and Conclusions Regarding those which Accompany Elevatory Movements

I confine the foregoing observations to the earthquakes on the coast of South America, or to similar ones, which seem generally to have been accompanied by elevation of the land. But, as we know that subsidence has gone on in other quarters of the world, fissures must there have been formed, and therefore earthquakes. I think, it would be highly advanta­geous to geology, if the author who has followed out the effects of an elevatory force, would consider those produced by the failure of support in the arched surface of the globe. The earthquakes of Calabria, and perhaps of Syria, and of some other countries, have a very different character from those on the American coast. When Molina, the historian of Chile was in Italy, he was much struck with this difference; he says,43 in Chile even the smaller shocks extend over the whole kingdom, and are propagated horizontally, whilst those which he felt at Bologna, were of small extension, but instantaneous, and commonly explosive.

I will add, that in the accounts collected by Mr. Lyell44 of the earth­quakes of Calabria, Lisbon, and some other places, portions of the surface are described as having been absolutely engulphed, and seen no more: but this does not appear to have happened in any of the earthquakes on the west coast of South America. If the fluid matter, on which I suppose the crust to rest, should gradually sink instead of rising, there would be a tendency to leave hollows, and therefore a suction exerted downwards; or hollows would be actually left, into which the unsupported masses might be precipitated with the violence of an explosion. Such earthquakes, we may conclude, from what has been shown in the foregoing part of this paper, would seldom be accompanied by eruptions, and never, probably, by periods of renewed volcanic energy. According to M. Boussingault,45 those earthquakes in South America which have been most destructive to human life, that is, which have been most sudden and violent, have not coincided with volcanic eruptions. He adduces several instances, including the shocks felt at Caraccas in 1812; but, according to Humboldt,46 the connexion between the subterranean disturbances at that place and the West Indian vents can hardly be doubted. M. Boussingault's remark, indeed, although perhaps generally true, should be taken with some reserve; for had the earthquake of Concepcion happened at night, thousands of persons must inevitably have perished.

In a line of fracture, produced by subsidence, the distortion and overthrow of the strata would probably be even greater than in one of elevation, from the circumstance, that as soon as the weight of the mass overcame its cohesion, and it began to sink, there would be no counterbalancing power, like gravity during elevation, to check the movement, excepting, indeed, the lateral pressure of the masses together, and this would only add to the disturbance. There would be, in this case, no axis of injected plutonic rock, or at least not one protuberant above the general surface; and thus we may explain the extreme disturbance in the strata of countries which are only hilly, like parts of Great Britain; and the occurrence there of such axes of elevation, as they are generally called, but which probably, in most cases, would be more appropriately termed axes of subsidence.

If the theory which I have given of the cause of the earthquakes on the west coast of South America be true, we might naturally expect on the same principle to find proofs of successive formation in the many parallel ridges, of which the Cordillera is composed. In the parts of Central Chile which I examined, this is true, even with regard to the two main lines; of which one is partly formed of inclined beds of conglomerate, consisting of pebbles derived from the rocks of the other. I have also evidence, but of a less satisfactory kind, that some of the exterior lines of mountains are altogether of subsequent date to the more central ridges. Moreover, in all parts of the Cordillera, there are proofs of an equable elevation in mass to a very great altitude. I was so much struck with this latter fact, connected with what I imagined must have taken place during the Concepcion earthquake, that I came to nearly the same conclusion, which Mr. Hopkins has demonstrated by his mathematical researches, namely, that mountain-chains are only subsidiary and attendant phe­nomena on continental elevations. If this be so, and few, after having read Mr. Hopkins's memoir, will dispute it; then, as it is certain continental elevations have certainly taken place on a great scale within the recent period, so, as certainly, must masses on the lines of fracture have been unequally lifted up and let down;—that is, some steps in the formation of a mountain-chain have been produced.

I may here ask, when Mr. Hopkins47 says, he "can in no way conceive the successive formation of parallel fissures, without hypotheses re­specting the mode of action of the elevatory force, which are infinitely too arbitrary to be admitted for an instant," has he considered the effects of long intervals of rest, during which the injected rock might become solid? Would not the crust in such case yield more readily on either flank, as I believe it must have done in the Cordillera, than on the line of an axis composed of solidified rocks, such as granite or porphyry?48 An ex­tremely slow elevation of the land, with long intervals of rest, being the only kind of movement of which we have any knowledge, the slow cooling of that portion of the liquefied rock which is propelled into the upper parts of the crust, cannot be considered an arbitrary assumption.

From the facts stated in this paper, we may safely conclude, that volcanic action, even on a very grand scale, as in the Andes, is only one effect of the power which elevates continents, at the slow rate at which the South American coast is now rising. In looking back to the past history of the world, we learn from Mr. Lyell,49 that there have been volcanic eruptions during every epoch, from that of the Cambrian formations to the present day. The ancient eruptions seem to have been accompanied by all the circumstances which attend modern ones; nor is there any evidence, as remarked by the same author, that the quantity of matter ejected, in the greater number of ancient cases, was excessive. Therefore, we must conclude that continental elevations, one of the effects of the same motive power which keeps the volcano in action, has ordinarily gone on, since those ancient days, at the same slow rate as at present, and, consequently, as above inferred, the step-like formation of mountain-chains. It may, therefore, be questioned, whether we are justified in admitting the hypothesis of a paroxysmal elevation of any mountain-chain, without distinct proofs in each particular case, that a series of impulses, like those, which now acting frequently on the same lines, rend the earth's crust, and elevate unequally portions of it, could not have effected the observed effects. It is, however, a subordinate question, whether there exist proofs of paroxysmal violence in some mountain-chains; the important fact which appears to me proved, is, that there is a power now in action, and which has been in action with the same average intensity (volcanic eruptions being the index) since the remotest periods, not only sufficient to produce, but which almost inevitably must have produced, unequal elevation on the lines of fracture.

13 Humboldt’s Personal Narrative, Vol. iv. p. 21. English Translation.

14 Another instance of earthquakes, violently affecting distant regions and passing over the intermediate country, is mentioned in the "True relation of the Earthquake of Lima, 1746." It is there said (p. 192) that the shock was most violent at Lima and Callao, becoming gradually less along the coast, but that at Guancavelica excessive shocks were felt and noises heard. The editor believes, there is no other place called Guancavelica except the famous quicksilver mines of that name, situated 155 miles to the S.E. of Lima. MacClelland (Report on the Coal Mines of India, p. 43,) mentions some cases of intermediate places being little shaken during great earthquakes.

15 As examples of the first case, may be adduced the trembling of the ground on the coast of Chile along a space of more than one thousand miles; and during the Lisbon earthquake in 1755, countries about 3000 miles apart were affected (see Michell on Earthquakes: Phil. Trans. 1760.). With respect to the second case, Humboldt states, that during the eruption at St. Vincent's subterranean noises were heard on the banks of the Apure, a distance of two hundred and ten leagues. (Person. Narr. Vol. iv. p. 27.) During the eruption of Coseguina in 1835, it is said, that noises were heard at Jamaica, 660 miles distant.

16 As other instances of the same kind, I may mention the outburst in 1822, of the volcanos near Valdivia at the same moment that Valparaiso, nearly 400 miles distant, was leveled to the ground. Again, in 1746, when Lima was overthrown, three volcanos near Patas and one near Lucanas, the two places being 480 miles apart from each other, burst forth during the same night. (Ulloa's Voyage, Vol. ii. p. 84.) I allude to these cases more particularly, because that distinguished philosopher, M. Boussingault (Bulletin de la Soc. Geolog. Vol. vi. p. 54.), having been much struck with the fact, that the earthquakes which have been most destructive to human life have been unaccompanied by volcanic outbursts, has, I think, generalized the remark too far. The earthquake of Concepcion in 1835 undoubtedly was one of extreme violence, although, from happening in the day, and from commencing gradually, it caused but few deaths (probably in the whole province not more than 70); nevertheless we have seen, that it was accompanied by co instantaneous eruptions from several and very distant points.

17 M. Parrot, however, (Memoires de 1'Acad. Imp. des Sciences de St. Petersbourg, Tom. i. 1831. Science. Math. Phys. et Naturelles) altogether denies that the data are sufficient to form any judgment on this subject.

18 Proceedings Geol. Soc., Vol. ii. p. 446, Jan. 1837.

19 Professor Bischoff (Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, Vol. xxvi. p. 59, 1838.) has even argued that "the immense masses of lava ejected from a single volcano, and the enormous extent in which volcanic actions are felt at the same time, scarcely leave room to doubt that every active volcano is in immediate communication with the whole melted matter in the interior." How incompa rably stronger this argument is, if applied to the plutonic as well as volcanic rocks, composing the great masses of the Cordillera! But now that we know, that continental elevations are caused by the very same impulses with those which eject lava and scoriae through the mouths of volcanos, the argument from the bulk of matter observable in ejected or interjected masses of rock, may be passed over, since the matter added below, when a whole kingdom is permanently elevated, must far exceed that composing either a volcanic hill or the axis of a mountain chain; and therefore we are so much the more strongly urged to look for its source in "the whole melted matter of the interior," and not in any local receptacle.

20 The arguments in favour of the theory, that steam, produced by the percolation of waters to the interior of the cooling planet, is the motive power in volcanic action, has been lately strongly put by Prof. Bischoff in his paper in the Edinburgh Journal (Vol. xxvi. p. 25.). That it must be a modifying cause of great importance seems highly probable; but that it is the primary one of continental elevation, I cannot admit. The phenomenon, as it appears to me, is on far too grand a scale to harmonize with such an explanation. Can the rising of the whole west coast of South America, and of the whole width, at least of the southern portion of it, be explained by the lateral force exerted during the general shrinking of the earth's crust, modified only by the formation of steam under high pressure, in those parts where water has percolated to the heated interior? Such an explanation surely is inadmissible.

21 Personal Narrative, Vol. iv. p. 36. 1 have altered some of the dates in these tables, as they did not agree with the text or with the well-known period of the events.

22 Humboldt's Personal Narrative, vol. ii. p. 226., and vol. iv. p. 36.

23 Caldcleugh on the volcanic eruption of Coseguina. Philosophical Trans­actions, 1836, p. 27.

24

Mexico

Peru

Difference of time

(Lat. 13° 32' North)
30th of November, 1577

(Lat. 12° 2' South)
17th of June, 1578

Six and a half months subsequent

4th of March, 1679

17th of June, 1678

Eight months in advance

12th of February, 1689

10th of October, 1688

Four months in advance

27th of September, 1717

8th of February, 1716

Seven and a half months in advance Humboldt's Personal Narrative, Vol. ii. p. 227. These facts perhaps tend to show That periods of increased volcanic energy are common to remote parts of the continent; but as the order of priority is not constant, I cannot believe any other law is indicated.

25 Journal of Science, Vol. xvii.

26 Several distinct cases are known in which springs and wells have been affected, their water rendered turbid, and altered in quantity, previously to bad earthquakes. This was observed at Lisbon in 1755; and in New England during two or three days before a shock, "the waters of some wells were rendered muddy and stank intolerably." (Michell, Philosophical Transactions, 1760, p. 44.) Humboldt and others have noticed, that the wells in the neighbourhood of Vesuvius are affected previously to its bad eruptions. These facts appear explicable, on the idea of a slight stretching or movement taking place in the crust, before its tension is overcome, a fissure formed, and, as a consequence, an earthquake or eruption caused. Courrejolles, also, has remarked in his memoir on earthquakes (Journal de Phys., Tom. Ixiv. p. 106.), that great earthquakes are almost always preceded by lesser ones.

27 Ulloa's Voyage, English Translation, Vol. ii. p. 84.

28 Personal Narrative, Vol. iv. p. 29.

29 Ulloa's Voyage, Vol. ii. p. 85.

30 Michell, in his remarkable paper on Earthquakes in the Philosophical Transactions for 1760, (p. 580,) has quoted this same passage in confirmation of his view, that "the eruptions of volcanos which happen at the same time with earthquakes may, with more probability, be ascribed to those earthquakes, than the earthquakes to the eruptions, whenever at least the earthquakes are of considerable extent." The term earthquake is here used to express the cause of the trembling of the ground. Sir James Hall, in his celebrated memoir on "Heat modified by compression," (Edin. Phil. Trans., Vol. vi. p. 166,) distinctly states "that the earthquakes which desolate countries not externally volcanic, indicate the protrusion from below of matter in liquid fusion, penetrating the mass of rocks;" but he does not extend this view, which is the same which I hold, to any comprehensive generalization, or restrict it to any particular class of earthquakes.

31 Courrejolles, in his Memoir on Earthquakes, (Journal de Physique, Tom. liv. p. 106,) says, "Les grands tremblemens de terre sont presque toujours precedes et suivis quelque temps avant et apres par de petites secousses." Michell (Philosophical Transactions, 1760, p. 10) has given some instances of successive minor shocks, which appeared to travel from the same point, whence the previous more violent ones had come.

32 See Miers's Travels in Chile, Vol. i. p. 392.

33 Proceedings of Geological Society, p. 540. April 5th, 1837.

34 Personal Narrative, Vol. ii., p. 224.

35 At Acapulco, Humboldt says, the shocks come from three different quarters, the west, north-west, and south. (Polit. Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain; English Translation, Vol. iv. p. 58.).

36 Almost every author, from the time of Molina, makes this observation. See Molina's Compendia de la Hist. del Vol. i. p. 32. Reyno de Chile,

37 My belief is grounded on the fact that, on the same coasts, and within the same period, in which a vast number of earthquakes are recorded, there exist proofs of an elevation of the land; although the rise is not known to have been connected with any particular earthquake.

38 Geographical Journal, Vol. vi. p. 327.

39 Lardner's Encyclopaedia, Geol., Vol. ii. p. 209.

40 Lardner's Encyclopaedia, Geol., Vol. ii. p. 209.

41 Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Vol. vi. Part I.

42 At Concepcion the line of vibration appears to have been N.W. and S.E., coming from S.W. At Mocha, (an island between Concepcion and Valdivia), from the manner in which water oscillated in the bottom of a boat drawn up on shore, the vibration must have been N. and S. coming from either E. or W. For the facts alluded to, see Capt. FitzRoy's account of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, volume ii. p. 414.

43 Compendio de la Historia del Reyno de Chile, Vol. i. p. 36.

44 Principles of Geology, 5th edit. Vol. ii. Book ii. Chap. xiv.

45 Bulletin de la Soc. Geol., Vol. vi. p. 54.

46 Personal Narrative, Vol. ii. p. 226, and Vol. iv. p. 6, English Translation.

47 Abstract of a Memoir on Physical Geology, by W. Hopkins, Esq., M.A., p. 31.

48 Igneous rock composed of distinct crystals embedded in a fine-grained base.f

49 Elements of Geology. In the 24th chapter, Mr. Lyell has collected instances of volcanic eruptions in each of the great epochs of the geological history of Europe. The argument, which follows in the text, is the same with that advanced by this author in the Principles of Geology, (Book I. Chap. v.) but Mr. Lyell more particularly applies it to the earthquakes and convulsions, “caused by subterranean movements, which seem to be merely another portion of the volcanic phenomena.”

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II. Correspondence  Top

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 50-52

[From Sarah Owen, 18 February, 1828]
. . . We left London very early the following Morning, & arrived here on Saturday night, found Owen, Aunt Laura Caddy & Emma waiting to receive use, & here my Personal Narrative3 ends, for since that moment, I have not been outside the Barriers of the Forest, or seen anybody except Mr. Lloyd Kenyon, Mr. Tom Ditto, & the Rector of the Parish, & you know that neither of these three pieces of broad Cloth can afford me the least assistance in filling up a vacant sheet of Paper like this now before me. . . .

3 Apparently a reference to Humboldt, 1814—29, one of CD’s favourite books which he may have told Sarah he was reading.

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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 117-118

To W. D. Fox [15 February 1831]

[Cambridge]
Tuesday

. . . If you have not read Herschel1 in Lardners Cyclo2—read it directly.
 

1 John Frederic William Herschel.

2 Herschel’s Preliminary discourse on the study of natural philosophy was published in 1831 in Dionysius Lardner’s Cabinet cyclopaedia. It became an authoritative statement of the methods of scientific investigation, anticipating John Stuart Mill in the formulation of the famous four methods of scientific investigation. In the Autobiography, p. 68, CD says that Humboldt’s Personal narrative and the Preliminary discourse ‘stirred up in me a burning Zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of Natural Science. No one or a dozen other books influenced me nearly so much as these two.’ The copy of The Preliminary discourse in Darwin Library—CUL has no annotations in CD’s hand. Several passages are marked in the margin. These markings occur in section 19 the criterion of a true statement of a law of nature; section 129 and section 130, on naming and nomenclature; section 384, on the superiority of residents over travellers in scientific investigation; and section 385, on the importance of institutions and journals in promoting the spread of science.

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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, p. 120

To W. D. Fox [7 April 1831]

. . . At present, I talk, think, & dream of a scheme I have almost hatched of going to the Canary Islands. — I have long had a wish of seeing Tropical scenery & vegetation: & according to Humboldt2 Teneriffe is a very pretty specimen. —

Looking over your letter I find there is a bill Orridges, is it distinct from the 2£136?

If you are not busy, you had better write to me before tomorrow week, & give me circumstantial account of every thing that you can think of. — How all your family are? &c &c.

Believe me dear old Fox | Most Sincerely | Chas Darwin

Shrewsbury Thursday

PS. tell me how, where &c &c, you are living? . . .

2 See chapter two of Humboldt 1814—29; also Autobiography, p. 68, where CD writes that he copied out from Humboldt long passages about Tenerife. The English translation of Personal narrative is in Darwin Library—CUL in six volumes of carious editions. Volumes one and two, in one, third edition, 1822, is inscribed ‘J.S. Henslow to his friend C. Darwin on his departure from England upon a voyage around the World 21 Sept 1831’. All of the volumes have some marginal scoring of passages and occasional comments. Volume five has a list of page numbers on the end-paper; volume one and two, three, and seven have notes by CD pinned in back.

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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 121-122

To Caroline Darwin [28 April 1831]1

[Cambridge]
Thursday

. . . I am very busy and work all morning till Henslow’s lecture: in the evenings I generally go out somewhere, and occasionally dinner parties, where good-eating and good-talking make a most harmonious whole (I hope you are disgusted, I will excuse anybody till they have been to a Cam: dinner, & if they are there, and if they cry out “what a disgusting thing a good dinner is” I must give them up.) The Election here is a great bore, as Henslow is Lord Palmerston’s right-hand man,3 about the Tropics: in the morning I go and gaze at Palm trees in the hot-house and come home and read Humboldt: my enthusiasm is so great that I cannot hardly sit still on my chair. Henslow & other Dons give us great credit for our plan: Henslow promised to cram me in geology. — I never will be easy till I see the peak of Teneriffe and the great Dragon tree; sandy, dazzling, plains, and gloomy silent forest are alternately uppermost in my mind. — I am working regularly at Spanish; Erasmus advised me decidedly to give up Italian. I have written myself into a Tropical glow. . . .
 

3 John Stevens Henslow, originally a Tory, followed Lord Palmerston when he changed parties in 1828. In the election of 1831 Palmerston lost his seat as M.P. for Cambridge University because of his support of Parliamentary reform. (Jenyns 1862, p. 60.).

4 Tuesday, 26 April 1831 (LL 1: 163 n.).

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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 125-126

To J.S. Henslow [11 July 1831]

Shrewsbury
Monday

. . . —I hope you continue to fan your Canary ardor: I read & reread Humboldt, do you do the same, & I am sure nothing will prevent us seeing the Great Dragon tree. — Would you tell L. Jenyns, that his magnificent present of Diptera has not been wasted on me Would you ask him how he managed Diptera when too small for a pin to go through. — I am very anxious to hear how Mrs. Henslow is. — I am afraid she will wish me at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay, for having been the first to think of the Canaries.


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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 139-140

To Susan Darwin [4 September 1831]
Cambridge
Sunday Morning
My dear Susan
. . . — By great good luck, I know a man of the name of Wood,1 nephew of Lord Londonderry; he is a great friend of C. Fitzroy & has written to him about me-— I heard a part of C. Fs letter, dated sometime ago, in which he says "I have a right good set of officers & most of my men have been there before." is seems that he has been there for the last few years; he was then second in command, with the same vessel that he has now chosen.-—He is only 23 years old;2 but seen a deal of service, & won the gold medal at Portsmouth.3 The admiralty say his maps are most perfect.-— He had choice of two vessels, & he chose the smallest.—

Henslow will given me letters to all travellers in town whom he thinks may assist me.

Peacock has sole appointment of Naturalist the first person offered was Leonard Jenyns, who was so near accepting it, that he packed up his clothes.—But having two livings he did not think it right to leave them.-—& to the great regret of all his family. – Henslow himself was not very far from accepting it: for Mrs Henslow, most generously & without being asked gave her consent, but she looked so miserable, that Henslow at once settled the point. –

Do not forward Henslows letter. you may open it, if you like. -— & now for giving you some trouble. – Look in bedroom over the Edinburgh Journal of Science,4 or some such title, & see whether the following papers are in it: 3 by Humboldt on isothermal lines:5 2 by Coldstream & Foggo. –on Metereology: Metereological observations:6 Tell Edward to get all Shre. Bills:

I should be obliged if my Father would place to my account here 100£ if at present convenient ditto at London. – what bank?

I am afraid there will be a good deal of expence at first. – Henslow is much against taking many things; it is mistake all young travellers fall into. – I write as if it was settled: but Henslow tells me, by no means, to make up my mind till I have had long conversations with C. Beaufort, & Fitzroy:

Good bye. You will hear from me constantly direct 17 Spring Gardens Tell nobody in Shropshire yet.— Be sure not: C. Darwin

I was so tired that evening I was in Shrewsbury, that I thanked none of you for your kindness, half so much as I felt.

Love to my Father.

The reason I dont want people told in Shrops: in case I should not go, it will make it more flat.

Postmark C.H 5 SE 1831 X7

DAR 223

1 Alexander Charles Wood.

2 Robert FitzRoy was 26 Wood may have told CD that FitzRoy was only 23 at the time he was given command of the Beagle, in 1828.

3 In his examination for promotion to lieutenant, FitzRoy 'won the first medal . . he did what has never been done before he got full numbers' (Rev James Inman, head of Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, to Bartholomew James Sulivan, in H N Sulivan 1896, p 12).

4 Edinburgh Journal of Science, edited by David Brewster and Robert Jameson, 1824—32.

5 Humboldt 1817.

6 Coldstream 1826, Foggo 1826 and 1827.

7 The letter bears a London postmark. CD evidently carried it with him and posted it on Monday, 5 September.

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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, p. 157

From Adam Sedgwick [18 September 1831]

Carnarvon.
Sept. 18. 1831.

Dear Darwin
. . . — Go to the Geological Society and introduce yourself to Mr Lonsdale5 as my friend & fellow traveller & he will counsel you— Humboldts personal narrative you will of course get— He will at least show the right spirit with wh a man should set to work . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 163-164

[To W. D. Fox, September 1831]
Every now & then I have moments of glorious enthusiasm, when I think of the date & cocoa trees, the palms & ferns so lofty & beautiful— every thing new everything sublime. And if I live to see years in after life how grand must such recollection be. — Do you know Humboldt? (if you don’t, do so directly) with what intense pleasure he appears always to look back on the days spent in the tropical countries: I hope when you next write to Osmaston, tell them my scheme, & give them my kindest regards & farewells. —
Good bye my dear Fox. Yours ever sincerely | Chas Darwin

Postmark: C.H 19 SE 1831 X

Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (Fox 44)

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, p. 167

From Robert FitzRoy [23 September 1831]

Devonport
Septr 23d 1831

. . . I received the parcel from London & your letter— thanks to you.

I have Beechey’s Voyage but not Head’s Gallop—2 You are of course welcome to take your Humboldt— as well as any other books you like— but, I cannot consent to leaving mine behind. All my goods & dry with me.

There will be plenty of room for Books. . . .

Faithfully Your’s | Robt FitzRoy

Dar 204.6.2

2 Head 1826.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 201-205

To R. W. Darwin [8 February—1 March 1832]

(Brazils) | Bahia or St. Salvador

. . . On the 6th in the evening we sailed into the harbour of Santa Cruz. — I now first felt even moderately well, & I was picturing to myself all the delights of fresh fruit growing in beautiful valleys, & reading Humboldts descriptions of the Islands glorious views. When perhaps you may nearly guess at our disappointment, when a small pale man informed us we must perform a strict quarantine of 12 days. There was a death like stillness in the ship; till the Captain cried “Up Jib”, & we left this long wished for place. —We were becalmed for a day between Teneriffe & the grand Canary & here I first experienced any enjoyment: the view was glorious. The peak of Teneriffe. —was seen amongst the clouds like another world.— Our only drawback was the extreme wish of visiting this glorious island.— "Tell Eyton, never to forget either Canary islands or S America;—that I am sure it will well repay the necessary trouble but that he must make up his mind to find a good deal of the latter.— I feel certain, he will repent it, if he does not make the attempt". . . .

. . . The conviction that I am walking in the new world, is even yet marvellous in my own eyes, & I daresay it is little less so to you, the receiving a letter from a son of yours in such a quarter: Believe me, my dear Father Your most affectionate son | Charles Darwin

St Salvador, Brazils

I find after the first page I have been writing to my sisters

Endorsed in pencil on cover: 'Rec"? the 3d of May—1832.—'

DAR 223

. . . April 6th. ― A merchant in this town3 is going to visit a large estate, about 150 miles in the country. ― He has allowed me to accompany him. ― On the 8th we start & do not return for a fortnight. ― It is an uncommon & most excellent opportunity, ―and I shall thus see, what has been so long my ambition, virgin forest uncut by man & tenanted by wild beasts. ― You will all be terrified at the thought of my combating with Alligators & Jaguars in the wilds of the Brazils: The expedition is really quite a safe one, else I will wager my life, my host & companion, would not venture on it. ― I believe a packet will sail before I return so this letter will go. ― I will of course write again from Rio. ― When I return I shall live in a cottage at the village of Botofogo: Earl & King will be my companions; I look forward to living there as an Elysium, ― The house & garden is overwhelmed by flowers & is situated close to a retired lake, or rather loch, as it is connected with the sea, but landlocked by lofty hills. ― I suppose we shall be here for 5 weeks: & then to Monte Video which will be my direction for a very long time. ― With your nice letters, I received a most kind & affectionate one from Henslow. ― It is not impossible I shall have occassion to draw for some money. ― Most certainly this is the most expensive place we shall perhaps ever again visit. ― My time i<s so> very much occupied, that my letters must <do> for the whole family. ― Before leaving Rio I shall send a begging letter for some books (the (enjoyment of which is immense) & instruments.

I have had a great deal of plague in getting my passport: a revolution is expected tomorrow which made it more difficult. ― I am very sleepy & hot. So my dearest Caroline & all of you | Good bye. ― Yrs very affectionately | Chas. Darwin

My love to every body who cares for me. ― I hope I shall hear from Mr Owen (& Fanny). ― His so kindly talking of me I value more than almost anybody. ―

DAR 223

1 CD May have been thinking of Alexander von Humboldt’s statement that La Guayra, Venezuela (now La Guaira), with a temperature at noon of 26.2° ‘is one of the hottest places on earth’ (Humboldt 1814-29, 1: 378).

3 Patrick Lennon (see ‘Beagle’ diary, p. 49).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, p. 224

[From J. M. Herbert 15-17 April 1832]

St: John’s College Cambridge
Sunday April 15th 1832

…Being out of debt, or even approaching to that blissful state, is truly an enviable feeling. I carried my principle, and almost every body's principle, "In for a penny in for a pound" rather too far, during my residence in the University, but I ought not to regret, as I have spent many happy days there, and not a few of them in your company. It is, I fear, a purely selfish feeling, when I say I wish you back; as we all confess to feeling somewhat uncomfortable on passing Xts Gate. Those who wish you well—and they are many, for you must not in your case believe the old Spanish proverb "Ahora que te veo me acuerdo"—18 aint I bumptious?—ought to console themselves for your absence, by the reflexion that you are now engaged in collecting materials for future fame; that you are about to couple your name, already intimately connected with Science, with those of a Cuvier and a Humboldt. Don't think me guilty of Flattery—I know you will do great things, as it is impossible that your assiduity and talents should not succeed. When you do return, take compassion on the briefless barrister—…

18 ‘Now that I see you I remember you’.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 232-233

To W. D. Fox May 1832

Botofogo Bay, near Rio de Janeiro May 1832.—

My dear Fox
I have delayed writing to you & all my other friends till I arrived here & had some little spare time.— My mind has been since leaving England in a perfect hurricane of delight & astonishment. And to this hour scarcely a minute has passed in idleness.— I will give you a very short outline of our voyage. We sailed from England after much difficulty on the 27th of December & arriv'd after a short passage to St Jago.— I suffered exceedingly all the first part, the snowy peak of Teneriffe by convincing me I was well on the road to see the world first put fresh life into me.— At St Jago my Natura Hist: & most delightful labours commenced.— during the 3 weeks I collected a host of marine animals, & enjoyed many a good geological walk.— Touching at some islands we sailed to Bahia, & from thence to Rio, where I have already been some weeks.—

My collections go on admirably in almost every branch, as for insects I trust I shall send an host of undescribed species to England.— I believe they have no small ones in the collections, & here this morning I have taken minute Hydropori, Noterus Colymbetes, Hydrophilus, Hydrobius, Gyrinus, Heterocerus Parnus, Helophorus Hygrotius, Hyphidrus, Berosus &c &c, as a specimen of fresh-water beetles.— I am entirely occupied with land animals, as the beach is only sand; Spiders & the adjoining tribes have perhaps given me from their novelty the most pleasure.— I think I have already taken several new genera.—1 But Geology carries the day; it is like the pleasure of gambling, speculating on first arriving what the rocks may be; I often mentally cry out 3 to one Tertiary against primitive; but the latter have hitherto won all the bets.— So much for the grand end of my voyage; in other respects things are equally flourishing, my life when at sea, is so quiet, that to a person who can employ himself, nothing can be pleasanter.—the beauty of the sky & brilliancy of the ocean together make a picture.— But when on shore, & wandering in the sublime forests, surrounded by views more gorgeous than even Claude2 ever imagined, I enjoy a delight which none but those who have experienced it can understand— If it is to be done, it must be by studying Humboldt. . . .

Believe me | Yours very affectionately | Chas Darwin

Remember me most kindly to Mr & Mrs Fox & to all your family: Once more good night & good bye.

Christ's College Library, Cambridge (Fox 46)

1 After the voyage CD's insect specimens were described by Charles Cardale Babington, Frederick William Hope, Francis Walker, George Robert Waterhouse, and Adam White. See Collected papers 2: 295-300.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 236-238

To J. S. Henslow' 18 May — 16 June 1832

Rio de Janeiro.
May 18th 1832

My dear Henslow.—
. . . A few days after arriving I started on an expedition of 150 miles to Rio Macao, which lasted 18 days.— Here I first saw a Tropical forest in all its sublime grandeur.— Nothing, but the reality can give any idea, how wonderful, how magnificent the scene is.— If I was to specify any one thing I should give the preemenence to the host of parasitical plants.— Your engraving6 is exactly true, but underates, rather than exagerates the luxuriance.— I never experienced such intense delight.— I formerly admired Humboldt, I now almost adore him; he alone gives any notion, of the feelings which are raised in the mind on first entering the Tropics. . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 246-247

To Catherine Darwin 5 July [1832]

Rio de Janeiro. | HMS Beagle
July 5th-

My dear Catherine
. . . Would ask Erasmus to add to the books—Pennants quadrupeds3 (if not too late) in my bedroom.—& Humboldt tableaux de la nature.—4 You cannot imagine what a miser-like value is attached to books, when incapable of procuring them. . . .

Give my very best love to my Father & all others. | Most affection Chas Darwin.—

DAR 223

4 Tableaux de la nature (Humboldt 1828), translation of Humboldt's Ansichten der Natur. There is no copy in the Darwin Library, nor has any reference to it been found in CD's Beagle notes.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 258-260

From E. A. Darwin 18 August [1832]

[London]
Aug. 18.

My Dear Charles.
I find by a letter from Catty that the packet sails on Friday, so I write this to tell you about your commissions, tho' I am afraid I shall hardly be able to get all your rattletraps in sufficient time to send them. Cuviers Mollusques1 are not to be had in London and are very dear & scarce, of all the books of travels only one was to be had an imperfect copy without the Atlas for three guineas & a half so I did not get—of the others one was £40 & another £30, consisting of a vast number of plates in folio. In short I have got none of them. I have got Humboldt Fragmens de Geologic et de Climatologie Asiatique2 which I suppose was the work you meant. The 8th vol of the Personal Narrative3 was not published. Leopold Von Buch's Travels by Jamieson4 were in Norway & not Sweden so I have got that in its place & hope it is right. Bohn5 was very civil & thought he remembered something about the Linnaeus6 but as you did not mention the Edition & there are so many of them he is not certain that he shall be able to procure you the sheets. . . .

Postmark. Paid 20 AU 1832 CX

DAR 204.6.1

1 Cuvier 1817.

2 Humboldt 1831. The flyleaf of the second volume is inscribed 'Chas Darwin Monte Video Novem: 1832' The volumes are lightly annotated and scored, mainly in pencil The subjects of interest suggest that the notes were made after the voyage. In volume one the half-title page has written on it CD's signature and 'Interesting parts begin P 84', 'The Andes P 143 ' The facing page has the word 'Metaphysics'.

3 The Personal Narrative was complete in seven volumes The eighth and ninth volumes of the Voyage were devoted to zoology and comparative anatomy, they were not translated.

4 Buch 1813 The copy in Darwin Library—CUL is inscribed 'Chas Darwin M Video Nov'' 1832' There are no marks or annotations.

5 Henry George Bohn.

6 The Darwin Library—Down has both the Systema naturae, Ed 13a, Cura J F Gmelin (bound in 10 vols ) (Linnaeus 1789— 96) and the Systema vegelabihum Ed 15a (Linnaeus 1797) The latter is inscribed 'Erasmus Darwin Christ Coil 1825.' This may be the volume mentioned by Erasmus later in the letter. There was also at Shrewsbury an English translation of the Systema vegetabilium 'by a Botanical Society at Lichfield' (Linnaeus 1783a) (see letter from E A Darwin, [8 March 1825]) The Darwin Library—CUL has Lmnaeus's Philosophia Botamca (Linnaeus 1783b, lightly an­notated There is no evidence that CD had it on board the Beagle The notes on the end paper relate to later botanical interests, one of them calls attention to p 87 'Mans fundus non destruit semina' ('The depth of the sea does not destroy seeds').

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, p. 296

[From W.D. Fox 23 January, 1833]

Ryde, Isle of Wight
January 23. 1833.

…I have seen so many vessels on the point of setting out to South America from Portsmouth & waiting for winds at the Mother Bank1 that my erratic propensities have been often quite painfully excited and I have dreamt by the night that I was as busy as could be collecting with you, all around new, beautiful & strange. My destiny however is I fear quite fixed to the Continent at least, not to say (as perhaps may be much nearer the truth,) the country I was born in, and of tropical regions I must be content to hear from Humboldt & Darwin. . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 314-315

To Caroline Darwin 22 May-14 July 1833

Maldonado. Rio Plata
May 22.d 1833

. . . If any of these books are expensive, strike them out: Tell Erasmus I shall be very much obliged if with my Fathers consent he will undertake this commission. If the 8th Vol of Humboldt or Sedgwick & Conybeares geological book is out I should like them both:3 You people at home cannot appreciate the exceeding value of Books. . .

DAR 223

1 Syms Covington, 'Fiddler and Boy to the Poop cabin', became CD's servant and remained with him as assistant, secretary, and servant until 1839, when he migrated to Australia.

2 3s. 6d., a considerable sum, was the postage for a letter to South America. Presumably CD means that a post office clerk—away from home, where the family was known—would be tempted to destroy the letter and pocket the fee.

3 Burchell 1822—4, Caldcleugh 1825, Dalyell 1814, Davy 1830, Fleming 1822, Pennant 1781, Playfair 1802, Scoresby 1820, and Scrope 1825. No eighth volume of Humboldt's Personal narrative was ever published (see letter from E. A. Darwin, 18 August [1832], n. 3). No geological work by Sedgwick and Conybeare was published. Annotated copies of Fleming 1822 and Playfair 1802, and an unannotated Pennant (3d edition, 1793) are in the Darwin Library—CUL. Unannotated copies of Burchell 1822—4, Scoresby 1820, and Scrope 1825 are i the Darwin Library—Down. CD's copies of Caldcleugh 1825, Dalyell 1814, and Davy 1830 have not been found. Playfair and Caldcleugh were used by CD in the Beagle. Fleming and Pennant were sent to him from Shrewsbury and were probably used on board the Beagle, but there is no corroborating evidence, either in the books themselves or in CD's notes.

__________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 337-338

From Susan Darwin 15 October 1833

Shrewsbury
Oct 15th | 1833.

…I have Just been reading an account of Ceylon in a kind of novel called "Cinnamon & Pearls"3 the descriptions of the vegetation are so beautiful that I don't wonder you have a great desire to go there as of course you have lead some more faithful history of it in Humboldt— I have a much greater wish to see some tropical country than the old common place France & Italy—and I wonder people don't travel more to Madeira than sticking: to Europe— You will rejoice as much as we do over Slavery being abolished, but it is a pity the Apprenticeship does not commence till next August as that is a great while for the poor Slaves to be at the mercy of the Planters who I shd think wd treat them worse than ever.— I grudge too very much the 20 million compensation money: but perhaps it would never have been settled without this sum.—4 The Poor Laws in Ireland will I suppose next Session be the great topic of interest. I have been reading some pamphlets which make me rather against the system. . . .

DAR 204.6.1

3 Martineau 1833.

4 The bill abolishing slavery in the colonies became law on 28 August 1833. A system of apprenticeship for seven years, to serve as a transition to complete freedom, was established. £20,000,000 compensation was voted for the planters.

____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, p. 345

From Caroline Darwin 28 October [1833]

[Shrewsbury]
October 28th—

My dear Charles—
I have been reading with the greatest interest your journal & I found it very entertaining & interesting, your writing at the time gives such reality to your descriptions & brings every little incident before one with a force that no after account could do. I am very doubtful whether it is not pert in me to criticize, using merely my own judgment, for no one else of the family have yet read this last part—but I will say just what I think—I mean as to your style. I thought in the first part (of this last journal) that you had, probably from reading so much of Humboldt, got his phraseology & occasionly made use of the kind of flowery french expressions which he uses, instead of your own simple straight forward & far more agreeable style. I have no doubt you have without perceiving it got to embody your ideas in his poetical language & from his being a foreigner it does not sound unnatural in him— Remember, this criticism only applies to parts of your journal, the greatest part I liked exceedingly & could find no fault, & all of it I had the greatest pleasure reading . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 396-397

To Charles Whitley 23 July 1834

Valparaiso
July, 23d 1834

My dear Whitley
. . . We have seen much fine scenery, that of the Tropics in its glory & luxuriance, exceeds even the language of Humboldt to describe. A Persian writer could alone do justice to it, & if he succeded he would in England, be called the "grandfather of all liars". . . .

National Library of Australia, Canberra, MS 4260

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Volume I, 1821-1836, pp. 420-421

From Susan Darwin [24] November 1834

[Shrewsbury]
November 1834

…They were very anxious to find some good account of Madeira & Charlotte who searched yr favorite Humboldt was much disappointed to find he said nothing about it: however they have got some letters of recommendation to the Consul & Chaplain1 so they won't feel quite cast away….

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 16-17

To Leonard Jenyns 10 April [1837]

36 Grt. Marlborough Street
April 10th

But such considerations ought not to have much weight.— The whole scheme is at present, merely floating in the air; but I was determined to let you know, as I should much like to know what you think about it, & whether you would object to supply descriptions of the fish to such a work, instead of to transactions. I apprehend the whole will be impracticable, without government will aid in engraving the plates, and this I fear is a mere chance, only I think I can put in a strong claim, & get myself well backed by the naturalists of this place, who nearly all take a good deal of interest in my collections.— I mean tomorrow to see Mr Yarrell; if he approves, I shall begin and take more active steps; for I hear he is most prudent and most wise.— It is scarcely any use speculating about any plan, but I thought of getting subscriber & publishing the work in parts (as long as funds would last, for I myself will not lose money by it). In such case, whoever had his own part ready on any order, might publish it separately, (and ultimately the parts might be sold separately), so that no one should be delayed by the other;— The plan would resemble on a humbler scale Ruppel Atlas2 or 'Humboldt Zoologie',3 where Latreille, Cuvier &c &c wrote different parts.— I myself should have little to do with it; excepting in some orders adding habits & ranges &c. & geographical sketches, and perhaps afterward some descriptions of invertebrate animals.4 . . .

Postmark: AP 10 1837

Bath Reference Library (Jenyns papers, 'Letters of naturalists 1817—76', Quarto vol. 2: 5l(l))

1 William Sharp MacLeay.

2 Ruppell 1826-8.

3 Humboldt and Bonpland 1811-33.

4 According to a prospectus issued in the autumn of 1837 a description of'some of the invertebrate animals' and 'a general sketch of the Zoology of the southern parts of South America' were planned, but neither of these was included in the final published volumes (see Freeman 1977, p. 26).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 218-222

From Alexander von Humboldt1 18 September 1839

à Sans souci pres Potsdam
ce 18 Sept | 1839

. . . 1 See Appendix I for a translation of this letter. The transcription and translation of Humboldt's original letter, though different in some details, have benefited greatly from the version published by P. H Barrett and A. F. Corcos (1972).

2 Humboldt 1797.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, p. 230

To John Washington [14 October 1839]

12 Upper Gower St
Monday Evening

Dear Washington

. . . If I had any modesty I should be ashamed to notice the extract you sent me from Humboldt,4 but my admiration for Humboldt has been of so long standing, that I confess few things in my life have gratified me more, than hearing of his approbation, although I should have swallowed the dose quite as readily if it had been a little less strong: even a young author cannot gorge such a mouthful of flattery—

Believe me | Ever Yours | Chas. Darwin

Endorsement: '1839 | Mr Darwin—1< > Oct.'

Royal Geographical Society

1 French 1839.

2 Dumont d'Urville, ed. 1830—5, the account of a voyage to the South Atlantic, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, is frequently cited by CD in Coral reefs.

3 Horsburgh 1809—11.

4 Humboldt 1839, p. 505: 'The volume of Mr. Charles Darwin is an admirable supplement to the voyage of the Beagle: it is one of the most remarkable works that, in the course of a long life, I have had the pleasure to see published. Mr. Darwin unites to sagacity for detailed observations enlarged views in general physics, I should rather say in natural philosophy,—views which embrace at once geology, the geographical distribution of plants, and the influence of temperature on the organic types of the primitive world.'

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 237-238

To J. S. Henslow [November 1839]

12 Upper Gower St
Sunday Evening

My dear Henslow
I take opportunity of Mrs Henslow being here to write to you, and congratulate you on all your toils in packing up being finished. I think Ramsgate has done Mrs Henslow good, though most unfortunately she caught cold & has not been well all this day. – It is very lucky there was no place in the coach tomorrow unoccupied, for I do not think she would have been able to have gone.

I am delighted to hear you have taken some of my plants with you to Hitcham. – I believe you have received a message I sent you saying that Humboldt in a letter to Me expresses at great length his vivid regret that M. Henslow has not been able to describe the species, or even characterize the genera of the very curious collection of plants from Galapagos.—1 Do think once again of making one paper on the Flora of these islands—like Roxburgh on St. Helena,2 or Endlicher on Norfolk Isld.—3 I do not think there will often occur opportunities of drawing up a monograph of more interest. — if your descriptions are frittered in different journals, the general character of the Flora never will be known, & foreigners, at least, will not be able to refer to this & that journal for the different species— But you are the best judge.4 . . .

Endorsement by Henslow: 'Nov. 1839'

Pierpont Morgan Library (Heineman collection)

1 See letter from Alexander von Humboldt, 18 September 1839.

2 In Beatson 1816.

3 Endlicher 1833. The volume is preserved in Darwin's Library at Down House. Norfolk Island, in the Pacific, is about 800 miles east of New South Wales.

4 By this time Henslow had described only two new species of Galapagos Opuntia (Henslow 18370). He never undertook the work CD refers to but turned the specimens over to Joseph Dalton Hooker, who published an enumeration of Galapagos plants (J. D. Hooker 1845) and a discussion of their geographical distribution (J. D. Hooker 1846).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 239-240

To Alexander von Humboldt 1 November 1839

12 Upper Gower St—
November 1st 1839

Sir
I beg to return you my sincere thanks for your very kind letter: it was an honour I scarcely ventured to hope for, and I assure you I fully appreciate it.— As you say you feel much interest about the temperature of the sea on the west coast of S. America, perhaps, you might like to see the few following remarks on the coldness of the sea near the Galapagos Islands, which I drew up, thinking at one time, that they would help to explain the absence of coral-reefs on their shores. If they are of the smallest interest to you, I shall be highly pleased: but I must remark, that I paid little attention to such important subjects. When I left England I was a mere amateur naturalist, & from want of knowledge, not seeing the purport of such researches, I neglected them.—

The observations at the Galapagos were made by a very careful person employed by Capt. FitzRoy (at his own expence) to take charge of the chronometers.1 Water was drawn up in a small bucket from near the surface, at the hours of 8 A.M., 12, & 8 PM, & its temperature observed with a good thermometer (Fahn: scale). Ninety-six observations were made in the period between the 16th of September and the 20th of October, during which time the Beagle was either at anchor in different open harbours, or sailing from one island to another; the mean of these observations is 68° The lowest temperature observed, was 58°½ at the SW. extremity of Albemarle Isld:2 on the west side of this island the temperature was several times 62° and 63°— The mean temperature of the sea, from forty four observations, made as before, during the time we crossed the Low Archipelago,3 anchored at two places at Otaheite4—and sailed from it for two days, was 77°½,—the lowest any day being 76°½. The difference therefore between the mean temperature of the sea near the Galapagos, and in that of the Low Archipelago and Otaheite, was 8°½: the difference between the extreme lowest 18°, and frequently 14°— I was informed by some Whalers, that the clouds, which hang so low, along the coast of Peru & northern Chile extend during winter many hundred miles over the Pacific, (I believe nearly half way from the coast of S. America towards the Low Archipelago). Is it possible, that this region of clouds can mark the breadth of the cold southern ocean-stream?—

I do not know, whether you are at all interested in the changes of temperature in the sea, whilst approaching land; I will, however, take the liberty of copying from my note book, some observations I made as the Beagle crossed the outlying shoals of the Abrolhos & approached the islands.— They show that small banks sometimes do not affect the temperature or colour of the water, although islets in the neighbourhood diminished it in a small degree.

Date March 26th

Hour

Depth in Fathoms

Temperature

Lat. 18°.6' S.

10 A.M.

230/.

82°

Long 36°.6' W

4 P.M.

30

82°

at noon

10 P.M.

250/.

81°

N.B There was no change in the colour of the sea, in the distance of less than a mile, when the depth varied from 230/· to 30 fathoms. The colour was according to Werners nomenclature, (seen through a narrow orifice) “ingido with a little azure blue”. —

________________________________________________________________________

Date: March 27th

Hour

Depth in Fathoms

Temperature

 

8 1/2 A.M.

180/.

83°

 

9 A.M.

150/.

81 2/3°

Lat. 12°.43'

10 A.M.

200/.

81 1/4°

Long. 36°.6' W.

1 1/4 P.M.

250/.

81 2/3°

at noon.

2 1/4 P.M.

30/.

81 2/3°

 

3 P.M.

20

81 2/3°

 

4 P.M.

22

81 2/3°

 

5,6,7,8 P.M.

25

81 1/2°

 

10 P.M.

27

81 1/4°

 

11 P.M.

27

81 1/2°

________________________________________________________________________

Date: 28th

Hour

Depth in Fathoms

Temperature

 

8 A.M.

28

79 2/3°

 

10 A.M.

10 to 30

79 1/4°

We were rapidly approaching the Abrolhos islands.

4 P.M.

ditto

78 1/2°

 

9 P.M.

20

76 1/2°

 

at anchor

at anchor

 

N.B. During this day the colour of the sea varied from dark Indigo blue to a bright green.—

________________________________________________________________________

I must a<polo>gise for sending you such trivial observations: I should not have written, but I could not forbear thanking you for the great pleasure, you have given me by your letter. That the author of those passages in the Personal Narrative, which I have read over and over again, & have copied out, that they might ever be present in my mind, should have so honoured me, is a gratification of a kind, which can but seldom happen to anyone.

I have the honour to remain | Sir | Your obliged and respectful servant | Charles Darwin

Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany

1 George James Stebbing; he appears on the Beagle roster as 'Instrument Maker' (see Correspondence vol. 1, Appendix III, and letter to J. S. Henslow, 15 [November 1831], n. 3).

2 Renamed Isla Isabela by Ecuador.

3 Now called Tuamotu Archipelago.

4 Two exclamation marks have been placed after 'Otaheite' in another hand presumably Humboldt's.

5 230/· is a hydrographic expression meaning no bottom found at 230 fathoms.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, p. 241

To John Washington 1 November [1839]

12 Upper Gower St
Novemb. 1st

Dear Washington
 

. . . May I beg one other favour, it is that you will send me one line by post, telling me how I ought to direct to Humboldt & Krusentern, for I know no more than if I had to write to the King of Prussia & the Emperor of all the Russias—

Believe me | Most truly yours | Chas. Darwin

Royal Geographical Society

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 241-242

To William Hallowes Miller 22 [November 1839]

12 Upper Gower St
Friday 22d

. . . Humboldts remarks on Capt. Kings barometrical observations in Tierra del Fuego4 show, I suppose, the interest of any fresh obserations in the same parallel of latitude.

The upshot of this is, should you like to publish anywhere you choose & reduce these observations.— Sulivan will be delighted if you will do so,—& otherwise, I fear they will be lost, for he says he does not understand enough of Metereology to undertake them.—

American Philosophical Society

4 King 1832 The paper includes barometric and temperature readings made at Port Famine from January to August 1828 (pp. 171—4).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 258-260

To David Milne [19 March 1840]1

12 Upper Gower St
Thursday 20th

Sir
I much regret, that I am unable to give you any information of the kind you desire,— You must have misunderstood Mr Lyell concerning the object of my paper.—2 It is an account of the shock of Feb. 1835 in Chile, which is particularly interesting as it ties most closely together volcanic eruptions & continental elevations.— In that paper I notice a very remarkable coincidence in volcanic eruption in S. America at very distant places.— I have also drawn up some short tables showing, as it appears to me, that there are periods of unusually great volcanic activity, affecting large portions of S America.— I have no record of any coincidences between shocks there & in Europe.— Humboldt by his table in the Pers. Narrative (Vol IV. p. 36, English. Translat) seems to consider the elevation of Sabrina off the Azores, as connected with S. American subterranean activity:

this connection appears to be exceedingly vague.3 . . .

Illinois University Library (Mudie letters)

1 The letter is endorsed in an unidentified hand: 'March 20 1840'. If CD's 'Thursday 20th' is correct, the letter was written either in February or August 1840. However, August is excluded since the volume containing CD's paper 'On the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena' (Vol. 5, Part 3, of the Transactions of the Geological Society} was published before 27 June 1840 as a letter of that date at the Geological Society, which acknowledges receipt of the volume, testifies (John Thackray, archivist, personal communication). In view of CD's reference to the imminent publication of his paper, February would seem too early. It is probable, therefore, that CD wrote on Thursday 19 March and that 20 March was the date of receipt.

2 'On the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena' Collected papers 1: 53—86.

3 By 'elevation' CD means the actual emergence of the island from the sea. Humboldt's 'vague' connection is between the eruption of the volcano of Guadaloupe in 1796 and the appearance of Sabrina Island fifteen years later, in 1811 (Humboldt 1814—29).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, p. 304

To Richard Owen 25 August [1841—2]1

12 Upper Gower St
Aug 25th

. . . I saw some weeks since at Mr Shillinglaw's2 at the Geographical Soc. a piece of a tusk of a Mastodon or Elephant, from Upper Peru.— Does not Cuvier enter into long discussion on a piece of tusk brought by Humboldt from S. America, doubting whether it belonged to an elephant—3 Would this be worth your looking at for that end.—4

Your's very truly | C. Darwin

British Museum (Natural History) (General library, Owen collection 9: 207)

2 Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society (Mill 1930, p 56).

3 Cuvier initially considered the tusk evidence for the existence of true fossil elephants in South America (Cuvier 1806, p. 57). He later seems to have concluded that other fossil remains in South America were exclusively from mastodons (Cuvier 1821—4, I: 266—8).

4 Owen discussed elephant and mastodon teeth and tusks at some length in Owen 1840—5, 1:613— 55.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 348-349

To J. S. Henslow [22 January 1843]

Down Bromley | Kent
Sunday Morning

. . . Lyell & co will be delighted to hear of your having actually finished some fossil Botanical work.— I have heard many a groan over you & your pursuits; & the worst of it is, that your pursuits are so evidently excellent, that one cannot have the pleasure of abusing you. I hope indeed, you will find leisure from your weightier occupations to go on with your fossil work, & I must put in a word for poor Galapagos plants—remember the regret Humboldt expressed that you had 'not published some sketch of them;4 whenever you do I shall be very curious to know, what sort of relation the Flora bears to that of S. America.51 am getting on with my second very thin part on "Volcanic Islds". . . .

Farewell, I wonder, whether we shall ever see you in this house— I heartily hope we may.—

Pray remember me very kindly to Mr Henslow & believe me Ever yours | C. Darwin

Postmarks: JA 23 < >; JA 25 1843

American Philosophical Society

1 Henslow was then writing a series of newspaper articles on scientific methods of fertilisation. These were collected in Henslow 18433.

2 Justus von Liebig was well known for his theories of agricultural chemistry.

3 Henslow had organised the farmers near Hadleigh to conduct fertilizer experiments (Jenyns 1862, pp. 77-82).

4 See letter from Alexander von Humboldt, 18 September 1839.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 391-392

To Ernst Dieffenbach 2 October 18431

[Down]

. . . [He thanks Dieffenbach for his appreciation of his] “small labours in Natural History…praise from men, like yourself, is the only, though quite sufficient, reward I ever expect or wish to obtain for my works. — I have lately had the extreme satisfaction of hearing that Hooker speaks highly of the accuracy . . . . of my statements . . ." [Mentions Humboldt and Owen.]

J. A. Stargardt, Marburg (catalogue 574, 11—13 November 1965)

1 Date obtained from Stargardt catalogue.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 408-409

To Joseph Dalton Hooker [13 or 20 November 1843]

Down near Bromley | Kent
Monday

My dear Sir
 

. . . I hope Henslow will send you my Galapagos Plants5 (about which Humboldt even expressed to me considerable curiosity)— I took much pains in collecting all I could,— A Flora of this archipelago would, I suspect, offer a nearly parallel case to that of St Helena, which has so long excited interest.6

Pray excuse this long rambling note, & believe me, my dear Sir | Yours very sincerely C. Darwin

Will you be so good as to present my respectful compliments to Sir W. Hooker.

DAR 114.1: I

5 Ultimately published as J. D. Hooker 1845 and 1846.

6 It was the endemic character of St Helena's native species that excited CD. He had long been interested in the comparison of this island, located 1900 km from Africa, with the Galapagos. See Notebook C: 1840.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, pp. 425-429

From Alexander von Humboldt1 18 September 1839

at Sans souci, near Potsdam
18 September 1839

Sir,
If I have delayed so long, Sir, in expressing to you my deep and affectionate gratitude, it is because I have had your excellent and admirable book in my possession for only a fortnight, and I did not want to answer your letter which arrived two months earlier without being able to tell you all I have learned and enjoyed in what you so modestly call 'The Journal of a Naturalist' My ever-recurring absences and the business I had with the King have no doubt prevented me from receiving sooner that which I enjoyed so much and which has evoked my lasting interest.

You told me in your kind letter that, when you were young, the manner in which I studied and depicted nature in the torrid zones contributed toward exciting in you the ardour and desire to travel in distant lands. Considering the importance of your work, Sir, this may be the greatest success that my humble work could bring. Works are of value only if they give rise to better ones. Moreover, Sir, with the illustrious name you bear, what inspiration you can draw from the reminder of scientific and literary achievements that make up a family's finest patrimony. My antediluvian piece 'on the excitation of nervous fiber'2 frequently attests how much I owe to the poetic author of Zoonomia, who proved that profound affinity with nature and an imagination that was not dreamy but powerful and productive, enlarge in superior men the realm of understanding.

I doubly regret, Sir, that my position and duties, which are not always literary, prevent me from attending your important meeting and from expressing to Mr Charles Darwin in person what I state here so imperfectly and in a language not his own. Being at the end of my career, enjoying without regrets, with all the purity of the love of science, the progress of intelligence and of liberty, the glory of the modern age, I do not judge my contemporaries with that austere and ill-willed severity my own works suffered for so long, but with a judgment free of national prejudices, which takes into account strength of talent, solid and wide knowledge, and a felicitous literary disposition to describe what one feels and wishes to convey to the reader. On all these counts, Sir, you rank high in my estimation. You combine all the qualities I have indicated. You have an excellent future ahead of you. Your work is remarkable for the number of new and ingenious observations on the geographical distribution of organisms, the physiognomy of plants, the geological structure of the earth's crust, the ancient oscillations, the influence of that unusual littoral climate which unites Cycads, hummingbirds, and parrots with forms found in Lapland, on the perpetually green and damp vegetation of paramos3 at sea level, on primeval bones, the possibility of feeding the great pachyderms in the absence of luxuriant vegetation, the ancient cohabitation of animals which are now separated by enormous distances, on the origin of coral islands and the marvellous uniformity of their progressive construction, on the phenomena of glaciers descending to the sea, on the frozen earth covered with plants, on the reason for the absence of forests, on the action of earthquakes and their effects on the surrounding air . . .

You see, Sir, that I like going over the principal points on which you have enlarged and corrected my views. You will remember 'Observations made on a voyage around the world' which the elder Forster published soon after his return with the immortal Cook,4 a book on Physique générale which, because of poverty of spirit, was not then appreciated. What progress indeed has been made in science and in those who like you are its eloquent interpreters; when we compare your 'Journal' with Reinhold Forster's book, so rich in 1776, so poor today. It is my custom to mark passages that offer the charm of a happy inspiration; I reread them often when, tired of the sad monotony of social life, I attempt to take refuge in my memories of the Orinoco, of the slopes of the Cordilleras, of the wild fecund earth of the torrid zone. You have been happily inspired in writing those beautiful pages 394, 540, 545, 546, 548, 590, 591, 605.

The end of your Journal (p. 608) expresses that moral calm which, in a pure and kind soul, is left by contact with the lower classes of society. On p 28 some unusual customs are painted with a delicacy of feeling that I must single out. Your thoughts on the possibility of the existence of large Pachyderms in a climate (lat. 45 55°) that is not continental but insular, similar to that of South America, are excellent.5 They carry the more weight with me because I lived so long in those alpine regions (Paramos 1800—2000 toises elevation) where the temperature is continually between 4° and 12° Réaum. Forms similar to the Palms, Tree Ferns, and Cycads can undoubtedly vegetate in these climates which are colder than temperate. I have myself described a tribe of alpine Palms. Petrified palm wood is far rarer than our books of Geognosy say they are. It is almost always the wood of Conifers which is confused with palm wood. In general, however, we are apt to be skeptical when we find fossils of primitive vegetation close to the North Pole. Musaceae and Gramineae in Corrientes6 require more warmth than our sad climates offer. The fall of leaves (appendicular organs) is inconsequential only to dicotyledons. Monocotyledons cannot survive with only an axis. I have long believed that primitive vegetation had an additional source of heat beyond that available to present-day vegetation. I have believed that our earth, like every planet, has received much of its climate (its temperature) for a long time not so much from its position relative to a central star (the sun), but from within. At every latitude there is a fissuring of the crust of a planet. Volcanicity is nothing but the reaction produced by the fluid part of the Interior, near the oxidized, hardened surface losing heat through radiation. According to these ideas (and the conglobation of diffuse matter into planets, meteorites . . . . is the cause of the central heat) the tropical climate could exist for some time in every zone, and in this hot climate a luxuriant vegetation could develop. These open fissures could have contributed for a long time toward tempering the northern habitation of the Pachyderms. How hot it was in 1803 and for the past 50 years in a square league around the Hornitos7 You mention a very similar phenomenon in your interesting description of the Galapagos, p. 455.8 of the Jorullo9 Volcano, where through small but numerous openings, as in all active Volcanoes, the interior of the globe came in contact with the surrounding atmosphere. With time, in the antediluvian world, the contacts ceased and the crevices filled with mineral matter (veins), or by the linear elevation of mountain ranges; the climates at different latitudes began to depend only on their position with respect to the central heating body, that is the sun of our planetary system. An 1800—3000 foot deep trench dug from Hamburg to the Alps would once again today give most of Germany a climate suitable for olive and pomegranate trees. This state of affairs would continue as long as the fault and its edges (due to the strength of its radiation) remained in equilibrium with the superficial neighbouring layers, for Fourier has proven theoretically10 and my observations in the interior of mines dug at an altitude of more than 2000 toises at Micuipampa (Gualgayoc mines) confirm, that the terrestrial layers are isothermal near the exterior crust of the earth in spite of the windings of valleys and mountains11 It seems to me impossible to admit both central heat (resulting from the formation of planets, and the condensation of nebular matter) and the (dynamic) reactions of the interior of the planet against its crust, without also admitting that in the primitive world temporary modificat­ions of climate depended on the prevalence of crevices on the surface.

Regarding the very curious considerations that you have presented, Sir, in your excellent work on the mixture of forms which seem tropical and polar in South America, I can add the fact that in the southeast part of Altai one can kill at a 50° lat. within a distance of 30 leagues, the royal tiger, identical to the one found in Ceylon, reindeer and elk. This primitive mixture of forms is diminishing with time: no more lions in Macedonia, no more elephants north of the Sahara in the Atlas mountains. The royal tiger become more and more rare in Siberia. Parrots according to Mr Ehrenberg have moved south in Nubia since Roman times.12 It is a phenomenon well worth attention. Much as I agree with Mr Agassiz I do not share his frightening theories of ice that periodically destroys organised beings. I also doubt the idea that the blocks of our Baltic plains were carried on ice rafts We have to distinguish among small local phenomena, debacles, the subsidence of neighbouring granite mountains, moraines pushed by glaciers, a few blocks that glaciers can carry from side to side, those 'streams of stone' (p. 254), so remarkable in Asia (Taganay) in the southern Urals and those deposits of blocks spread over vast surfaces and terminating far from the mountains ranges to which one had wanted to attribute their origin. I agree with you that the lack of blocks in the tropical plains (Llanos de Caracas, Amazon, Sahara) is remarkable, but northern Asia is also without blocks. The furrows and grooved rocks of Scandinavia are uniformly directed to the most northern coasts of Norway. The cause of this phenomenon, so important and so recently observed, seems to be in the polar seas Of how many things are we still ignorant Observations are so incomplete. How much I regret that Mr Henslow could not finish examining your interesting collection (pp. 460, 537, 541) if only to determine the families or the proximity of some known genera The vegetation exhibits the fundamental character of a country. By tracing even the main features, one gives an image which will remain in one's mind, something like a stereotype; animals offer mobile characters. I have to ask you, Sir, to excuse the length of this letter and the illegibility of my hieroglyphic handwriting. I brought back from the Orinoco forests a weakness in my right arm, doubtless from having slept many months on ground covered with dead and damp leaves. I would have liked to speak with you more about the cold water current that hugs the coast of Peru and which has so much occupied me, because I believe it greatly modifies -the coastal climate (Sea surface, Callao November 60.2°F., outside the cold current which veers westward at Cape Parina one finds 82—85°F.). You will have seen the ocean current chart of Captain Duperrey who believes that a stream of cold water flows from the southwest and strikes the coast of Chill at lat 35° and 40° South, going towards both the south and north of Chonos, along the Peruvian coast. I would like very much to know whether this view agrees with your experience and that of the worthy Cap, FitzRoy. Perhaps I missed the passage in the Voy. of the Beagle where this current

is mentioned.13 In any case the cold sea between the Galapagos Islands (p. 454) is indeed remarkable, since the Archipelago lies to the north of the line where near Cape Parina (close to the great convex part of South America) the cold current changes its course towards the west. Between rocky islands, as on the edges of sand banks, one sometimes find rivulets of cold water coming from the ocean depth. These are ascending ↑ currents, like the descending ↓ currents of air that one feels at the foot of the Cordilleras. Please read with indulgence these lines written with so much abandon, and believe in my great and affectionate esteem. | Alexander Humboldt

I hope to be able to offer you very soon a new edition of my Fragmens asiatiques. It is rather an entirely different book revised under the title of "Central Asia or researches on the mountain chains and comparative climatology"14. My history of 15th century Geography (Examen critique) will be finished with the 5th volume.15 I have even, in spite of my age, the imprudent courage to work at a Physical Geography of the World (physische Weltbeschreibung) which will treat of the Cosmos from the nebulae down to the hyssop.16 As I want this book to be in the same genre as my Ansichten der Nature,17 I am writing it in German and I shall have the disappointment of knowing that it will not be read by you.

Please give Captain FitzRoy my keen appreciation for the fruits of his noble and courageous expedition.

DAR 204.15

1 The transcription of this letter in the original French is on pp. 218—222. Both the transcription and the translation of Humboldt's letter, though different in some details, have benefited greatly from the version published by P. H. Barrett and A. F. Corcos (1972).

2 Humboldt 1797.

3 The usual meaning is a high bleak plain.

4 Forster 1778. There is a copy in Darwin Library—CUL.

5 See Journal of researches, particularly pp. 293 — 8, in which the remains of Siberian animals, including pachyderms, are explained by the hypothesis that northern Europe and Siberia formerly bordered on a sea, which gave the region a more equable, insular climate, similar to that of the southern hemisphere.

6 Province of Argentina.

7 'Little ovens', mounds of cinders and ashes around fumaroles.

8 The sentence beginning, 'You mention', was written in the margin, and the place for its insertion marked by an asterisk.

9 Jorullo volcano is located near Toluca, Mexico.

10 Fourier 1819.

11 Humboldt 1808, 1: 324, and Humboldt 1849—58,5:41—2, describe the differences in external and internal air temperature of the mines above Micuipampa.

12 Ehrenberg 1827.

13 CD does not refer to it. FitzRoy makes only a passing reference to it in discussing the temperature of the sea at the Galapagos (Narrative 2: 505).

14 Humboldt 1843.

15 Humboldt 1836-9.

16 Humboldt 1845-62.

17 Humboldt 1808.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Volume II, 1837-1843, p. 434

[29 January 1842. Met Alexander von Humboldt at Roderick Impey Murchison's house.]53

53 LL 1:74; Emma Darwin 2:67; DAR 100:167.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 8-9

To J. D. Hooker [3-17 February 1844]

Down. Bromley Kent
Saturday

My dear Sir

. . . PS. | Dr Dieffenbach, the New Zealand traveller,1 (who has translated my Journal into German)2 (& I must with unpardonable vanity boast to you, that it was at the instigation of Liebig3 & Humboldt4) wrote to me about the Infusoria at the request of Ehrenberg & to him I have written some further questions.—

I cannot doubt, Ehrenberg would value all your notes & drawings whether imperfect or perfect.

DAR 114.1: 5

1 His travels were described in Dieffenbach 1843.

2 Dieffenbach trans. 1844.

3 Justus von Liebig, professor of chemistry in Giessen and patron of Ernst Dieffenbach.

4 Alexander von Humboldt. For his favourable opinion of CD's Journal of researches see Correspondence vol. 2, letter from Alexander von Humboldt, 18 September 1839.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 10-12

To J. D. Hooker 23 February [1844]

Down Bromley Kent
Feb. 23d

Dear Hooker.
 

. . . P.S. I should feel extremely obliged for your kind offer of the sketch of Humboldt; I venerate him, & after having had the pleasure of conversing with him in London,15 I shall still more like to have any portrait of him —

DAR 114.1: 6

15 CD had met Alexander von Humboldt at Roderick Impey Murchison's house on 29 January 1842 (see Correspondence vol 2, Appendix II) For CD's notes on the meeting with Humboldt see letter to J D Hooker, [10-11 November 1844], n 7.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 23-24

To J. D. Hooker 31 March [1844]

Down Bromley Kent
March 31.

My dear Hooker
 

. . . Swainson has remarked (& West-wood contradicted) that typical genera have wide ranges:6 Waterhouse, (without knowing these previous remarkers) made to me this same observation:7 I feel a laudable doubt & disinclination to believe any statement of Swainson's, but now Waterhouse remarks it, I am curious on the point. There is, however, so much vague in the meaning of "typical forms" & no little ambiguity in the mere assertion of "wide ranges", (for zoologist seldom go into strict & disagreeable arithmetic, like you Botanists so wisely do)8 that I feel very doubtful, though some considerations tempt me to believe in this remark.—9 Here again if you can throw any light, I shall be much obliged.— After your kind remarks, I will not apologise for boring you with my vague queries & remarks. . . .

DAR 114.1: 10

8 Following Alexander von Humboldt, plant distributions were often expressed in arithmetic terms describing the proportional representation of a taxonomic group in a given flora.

9 CD kept the following note with his materials on divergence and classification (DAR 205.5: 97): March 31. 44 If Swainson's statement (& Waterhouse independently to me) that typical genera (which implies with respect to larger group) (for Ornithorhynchus ['O' over 'o'] can only be considered non-typical with respect to Mammifers) have wide ranges (converse may still hold good? ['?' added]) is important; for the genera which are not typical are only rendered so by the extinction of allied genera, & that implies they are less adapted than other groups of genera to the [over 'their'] world ['& their co-inhabitants' del] & therefore one might expect they wd be less widely distributed: they *(as genera) [interi] wd be rare, for they have or are decreasing in number—like individual species.— *(good) [square brackets in MS] Mem. Westwoods contradiction in Linn: Trans:.—

10 Hamilton 1843, which refers to Liebmann 1843.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 77-80

To J. D. Hooker [10-11 November 1844]

Down Bromley Kent
Sunday

My dear Hooker
. . . I shd. like much to hear, if you make out, whether the N. or S. boundaries of a plant are the most restricted; I shd have expected that the S. would be, in the temperate regions, from the number of antagonist species being greater. (N.B. Humboldt, when in London, told me of some river in N. E. Europe, on the opposite banks of which the Flora was, on the same soil & under same climate, widely different!)7 . . .

DAR 114.1: 19

7 CD met Alexander von Humboldt in January 1842 and made the following note Jan 29th /42/ Humboldt descanted on remarkable fact (as observed by Gmelm & Pallas) that the *banks of the [interl] River Oby separates two Floras—on one side 8/10 of plants same as in Germany with 2/10 Asiatic—on other side reversed large proportion of Asiatic — Remarked a similar case with respect to the distribution of oaks in some place, I did not catch up with Astacus in all the brooks on one side & not on the other says Bellis perenms extends to a certain limit & then ceases, but it is not the cold, for this plant will flower, ['far' del] within the limits of snow on some mountains— On the Oby there is no geological change=prepossession *of soil [interl] must here have done much — Have two Floras marched from opposite sides & met here??—strange case— (DAR 100 167).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 82-83

From J. D. Hooker 14 November 1844

West Park Kew
Novr 14.. 1844

My dear Darwin

. . . I should very much like to hear about this river that Humboldt mentions, I cannot think of any analogous case.— There is a V. D L. bird xcessively common on the E. side of the Derwent which has never been seen on the W. south of Rosneath (about 10 miles above Hobart. I can vouch for this as far as my xpenence of a few days goes & many most intelligent persons have told me the same & who pointed the fact out to me: I have a note of it somewhere. . . .

DAR 100: 26-7

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 92-93

From J. D. Hooker 12 December 1844

West Park Kew
Dec 12 1844.

My dear Darwin
 

. . . Schombugk19 came here today P.P.C.20 he meets Humboldt in Paris I wrote to the latter with some books my father had for him. I told him you were better w.h he will I am sure be glad to know. I asked Schombugk if he should see Dieffenbach to mention, incidentally, that your wood-cuts &c were not in England, am I right? It is no joke losing such xpensive things.21 . . .

DAR 100: 29-31

19 Robert Hermann Schomburgk.

20 Pour prendre conge.

21 Materials for the German edition of Journal of researches (1844), which Ernst Dieffenbach translated.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, p. 127

To J.D. Hooker 22 [January 1845]

Down Bromley Kent
22d

. . . Also I shall be very glad if you could urge Dieffenbach for the copper-plate, wood cuts & M.S. notes of mine: I am the more anxious about them now, as I am in a sort of negotiation with Murray, who wishes to get the power from Colburn & publish a 2d Edit:5 I have no doubt that you will work on him; Lyell recommended me to write to the great Humboldt & set him to worry the little Devilbach. . . .

Postmark: JA 22 1845

DAR 114.1: 26

5 Journal of researches 2d ed. See letter to Charles Lyell, [8 February 1845].

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 139-141

To J. D. Hooker [10 February 1845]

Down near Bromley | Kent
Monday

My dear Hooker

. . . Thanks for all your news— I grieve to hear Humboldt is failing;5 one cannot help feeling, though unrightly, that such an end is humiliating: even when I saw him he talked beyond all reason.— If you see him again, pray give him my most respectful & kind compliments, & say that I never forget that my whole course of life is due to having read & reread as a Youth his Personal Narrative.6 How true & pleasing are all your remarks on his kindness: think how many opportunities you will have, in your new place, of being a Humboldt to others. Ask him about the river in NE Europe, with the Flora very different on its opposite banks.7 . . .

Postmark: 10 FE 10 1845

DAR 114.1: 27

5 Hooker met Alexander von Humboldt in Paris shortly after his arrival there on 30 January (Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 179).

6 Humboldt 1814-29. See Autobiography, pp. 67-8.

7 The Obi in Siberia, see letter to J. D. Hooker, [10-11 November 1844], n. 7, and letter from J. D. Hooker, [late February 1845].

8 Wilkes 1845.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 147-151

From J.D. Hooker [late February 1845]

Ghent
Saturday Night.

My dear Darwin
 

. . . Most heartily did I wish for your company over & over again in Paris, for Humboldt had lots of time there, & such quantities of things to ask about, that demanded much better answers than I could give: the more I saw of him, & he either came to my room or sent for me almost every morning, the more I liked him, to be sure his amazing volubility & the constant practice of quoting himself, his travels & his works, for every subject, savours somewhat of old age, but those who know him best, say that he must not be so judged, as he was ever the same in his younger days. Further, his habit of always asking questions & seldom proposing a subject for mutual discussion, or giving his own information except when asked, leads one to suppose, that he is collecting more materials than he has time to arrange or dispose of: but as I saw more of him, it became more & more evident, that his mind was still vigorous, that he was still a most extraordinary man.

Nothing proved this more than my proposing the question, (which I am truly ashamed to have forgotten till you so kindly reminded me of it), concerning the N.E. Europe river dividing two Bot. regions. I do not suppose that he drew breath for 20 minutes, during which he was engaged in telling all he knew on the distrib. of Siberian plants &c. The river is the Obi, to the E. of the Oural, to its W. bank Rhododendrons some Coniferee & other marked plants proceed, & occupy the plains on both sides of the Irtych, but though these inhabit the W. bank itself of the Obi they do not cross it: some other facts connected with this river & subject, are to be found in Gmelin's Botany of Siberia,2 a work we have, but which I have almost neglected. Another most singular fact in the Botany of these regions Humboldt also told me of, & that was, that all the rivers to the W. of the Oural are covered (their banks) with Oaks: none of them to East are, nor are these trees met with in any part of Siberia, until reaching the waters of the Amour & other Chinese rivers, given off from the Yablonoi & Stanavoi ranges, what is still more remarkable is, that the said rivers both of W. Oural & Amour have fresh-water lobsters, equally foreign to all the Siberian waters. The absence of Lobsters & Oaks in all the countries watered by the Siberian rivers is a wonderful fact & to Humb. quite inexplicable. The only analogous facts I know off are those

connected with the difference of the Floras of Greenland & W. Baffins bay, which are in every respect trifling in comparison. Such are Humboldts strong arguments against the migration of species, a doctrine he has most studiously & repeatedly warned me against, as wholly untenable, ever quoting the to him unaccountable fact, that the Befarias of the Caraccas & Andes should be the same, without a double creation;3 (there is no smothering the truth that he is garrulous upon his own observations).

Fancy my amazement, on being shewn by him one day, 15 sheets of Kosmos, all printed, all just arrived from Germany & all to be corrected together!—4 In common with many other Paris men, I had given Kosmos up, especially as he himself had told me that it would not be finished for two years—the two first parts are to appear this year, no 1 is ready, 3 will conclude it. As an instance of the man's extraordinary memory, I may tell you that he gave me the heads of all the subjects of the two first parts, without once stopping, I do think he was almost 1/4 hour incessantly going on, from one head to another: the general nature of the work is, a review of the present state of our knowledge of Astronomy physics & natural History

The Paris Botanists have little or nothing to say about Geographical distri­bution, they are far more occupied with Anatomical & Physiological questions. One thing they all appear to agree in is, that we want facts to generalize upon & all incline to the migrating side, as however they do so without examining for themselves, their opinion does not carry much weight. You know what my own sentiments were, that I considered migration to a great extent, as, at any rate a precipitate conclusion, & this after having paid some little attention to the subject. I now, chiefly from the results of working out your suggestions, incline to consider migration as the only cause of the dispersion or diffusion of a so called species. Nothing that Humboldt has said hitherto alters my opinion, though I can no more account for Rhododendrons not crossing the Obi, than for Eryngium campestris & many other Continental weeds not crossing the channel, though they run wild when brought across. Nothing will be more likely to settle my own mind satisfactorily, than a comparison of my Southern plants with those of the N. Hemisp. of those there are a proportion common to both temperate regions, should I be able to trace the majority of them from one zone to the other, I shall declare myself a good migrationist, if not I must hold the question still unsettled; in this work I am at present interrupted. . . .

DAR 100: 165-6

1 See letters to J. D. Hooker, 22 [January 1845], and to C. G. Ehrenberg, 23 January [1845]. Johann Friedrich Klotzsch was keeper of the Royal Herbarium in Berlin.

2 Gmelin 1747-69. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, [10-11 November 1844], n. 7.

3 Bejaria, a member of the heather family. According to Alexander von Humboldt there were distinct species of this alpine plant near Caracas, Bogota, and Santa Fe (Humboldt 1814-29, 3: 497).

4 Humboldt 1845-62.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 159-160

To J. D. Hooker 19 March [1845]

Down near Bromley | Kent
March 19th

My dear Hooker.
 

. . . How I am to get my paper back from Ehrenberg now, I do not see.— I was very glad to hear Humboldts views on migrations & double creations: it is very presumptuous but I feel sure, that though one cannot prove extensive migration, the leading considerations, proper to the subject, are omitted, & I will venture to say, even by Humboldt.— I shd like sometime to put the case, like a lawyer, for your consideration, in the point of view, under which, I think it ought to be viewed: the conclusion, which I come to, is, that we cannot pretend, with our present knowledge, to put any limit to the possible & even probable migration of plants. If you can show that many of the Fuegian plants, common to Europe, are found in intermediate points, it will be grand argument in favour of the actuality of migration; but not finding them, will not in my eyes much diminish the probability of their having thus migrated. . . .

DAR 114.1: 28

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 167-168

From J. D. Hooker [2-6 April 1845]1

. . . Our ideas of peculiarity are most loose, we have no standard, in the first instance we must know the absolute numerical amount of peculiar species, this must ever be the primary point, the leading fact, all other causes of peculiarity, as preponderance of a species, genus or higher group, or insulation of individuals &c &c must be secondary considerations. Except Brown & Humboldt, no one has attempted this, all seem to dread the making Bot. Geog. too exact a science, they find it far easier to speculate than to employ the inductive process. The first steps to tracing the progress of the creation of vegetation is to know the proportions in which the groups appear in different localities, & more particularly the relation which exists between the floras of the localities, a relation which must be expressed in numbers to be at all tangible. . . .

Incomplete

DAR 104: 220, 219

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 183-185

From J. D. Hooker [28 April 1845]

. . . There is a similar relation mentioned in "Asie Centrale" between the Bruyeries of Holland across to Tobolsk?7 & I thought when reading it that that stretched into Norfolk & Suffolk, Newmarket heath &c.. Brown shewed me a funny thing. Some Liverpool Parson, after reading "Vestiges", had written to all Geologists for proofs on the contrary, & rather coolly, printed all the answers.8 Every one, but Delabeche, referred said parson to their own works!—I could not get the thing. I suppose you have read Bosanquets answer,9 it is not half so nice as Vestiges. Do not growl at this long letter, I shall not trouble you again for some time—I go on Wednes<day> & commence on Monday— Farewell | J D Hooker

Postmark: AP 28 1845

Incomplete

DAR 100: 48

7 Humboldt 1843, 1: 54-5, in which the distribution of heaths across Europe is discussed.

8 Hume 1845, a response to [Chambers] 1844.

9 Bosanquet 1845.

10 CD's '40/225' was written directly below Hooker's '185'. Thus he could have been adding the number of flowering plants to the cryptogamic plants to get the total number of species. However, it is unclear exactly what Hooker meant, as CD pointed out later (see enclosure with letter to J.D. Hooker, [11-12 July 1845]).

11 See Hooker's annotation on the enclosure with letter to J. D. Hooker, [11-12 July 1845], n. 22, and letter from J.D. Hooker, [after 12 July 1845], where Hooker corrects this figure to '40'.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 206-208

To J. D. Hooker [27 June 1845]

Down near Bromley Kent
Friday

My dear Hooker
There is the Kosmos to read8 & Lyell's Travels in N. America:9 it is awful to think of how much there is to read. . . .

I think, they ought to be just looked at, under a geographical point of view.—

Postmark: JUN 29 1845

DAR 114.1: 35

8 See letter to J. D. Hooker, [11-12 July 1845], n. 8.

9 C. Lyell 1845a.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 216-220

To J.D. Hooker [11-12 July 1845]

Down Bromley Kent
Friday

My dear Hooker
 

I have not yet got the Kosmos, for I want to know which is the best Translation, can you tell me?8

Postmark 12 JY 12 1845

DAR 114.1: 36-36b, DAR 100: 43-7

8 There were two translations of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos (1845-62) under way in 1845: an unauthorised translation by Augustin Prichard (Humboldt 1845 8), and a later translation by Elizabeth Juliana Sabine (Humboldt 1846-8). The latter is in the Darwin Library-CUL.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 222-225

From J. D. Hooker [mid-July 1845]1

[Edinburgh]

. . . I have heard nothing about Kosmos, Bailliers I suppose to be a species of Piracy.2 Humboldt had agreed, that Murray should have the publishing of the translation & passed me the compliment of asking who would be the best translator (for I cannot suppose he intended me the high honor of asking for information) I said Mrs Sabine as translator of Wrangel,3 & he commissioned me to tell her how much he wished she would take a part in it—, consequently, with Murray's sanction, (who wished Mrs Austin to have it,4 which H. did not like at all) I told Mrs S. & Col. S. wrote to Baron H. about it: this is all I know, I hope Murray's is Mrs Sabine's translation,5 I will ask when I come up to London. . . .

Incomplete

DAR 100: 49-50

2 Humboldt 1845-8 was an unauthorised translation by Augustin Prichard, published by Hippolyte Bailliere.

3 Wrangel 1840, translated by Elizabeth Juliana Sabine, wife of Colonel Edward Sabine.

4 Sarah Austin.

5 Murray's translation (Humboldt 1846-8) is by E.J. Sabine. Sarah Austin had declined John Murray's proposal that she take on the work (correspondence in John Murray Archive).

____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 226-227

To J.D. Hooker [22 July - 19 August 1845]1

Down Bromley Kent
Tuesday

My dear Hooker
. . . I do not remember Humboldts fact about the Heath regions. . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 241-243

To Charles Lyell 25 August [1845]

Down. Bromley Kent
Aug. 25th

. . . Have you seen Kosmos,11 I think you wd probably find the subject of multiple & single Creations there discussed: at least. H. discussed subject with Hooker & Humbolt is a multiple man. . . .

AL incomplete

American Philosophical Society

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 245-246

From J. D. Hooker 1 September [1845]

[West Park, Kew]
Monday Morning | 1st Sept.

. . . I was reading Cosmos in the railway carriages, have you seen it? the translation is never to be sufficiently execrated, I cannot understand many pages of it at all.4 I can send you my copy if you have it not, for such a translation is never worth buying I should think, but I may be all wrong in my judgement. . . .

DAR 100: 14-15

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 249-250

To J. D. Hooker [3 September 1845]1

Down Bromley | Kent
Wednesday

My dear Hooker
. . . Are you really sure you can spare Cosmos:7 I am very anxious to read it, & till knowing whether worth while not anxious to buy it. I beg you not to think of sending it, without you & any others in your family are sure they have quite done with it. I shall indeed be proud of the Antarctic Flora, as you are so kindly determined to give me a copy. . . .

DAR 114.1: 40-40b

7 Humboldt 1845-8.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 250-252

From J. D. Hooker [4-9 September 1845]1

[incomplete]

. . . translation, though it is rather cool of me to ground my censure upon my own inability to understand parts of it.2 . . .

DAR 104: 209, 208

2 Probably a reference to Humboldt 1845-8. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 September [1845].

3 Gerard 1844.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 252-253

To J. D. Hooker [10 September 1845]

Down Bromley Kent Wednesday

My dear Hooker
I write to say that we are going on Monday for a month to my Father's at Shrewsbury:1 when, therefore, you can quite spare Cosmos2 wd you send it directed to me. . . .

DAR 114.1: 41-41b

1 CD left for Shrewsbury on 15 September. He also visited William Herbert and Charles Waterton. See 'Journal' (Appendix II).

2 Humboldt 1845-8.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 255-256

To J. D. Hooker [18 September 1845]

Shrewsbury
Thursday

My dear Hooker.
I write a line to say that Cosmos arrived quite safely (NB one sheet came loose in Pt 1) & to thank you for your nice note. I have just begun the introduction & groan over the style, which in such parts is full half the battle. — How true many of the remarks are (ie as far as I can understand the wretched English) on the scenery;1 it is an exact expression of ones own thoughts. . . .

DAR 114.1: 42

1 Humboldt 1845-8, 1: 6-13.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 257-258

To J. D. Hooker [8 October 1845]

Shrewsbury
Wednesday

My dear Hooker
I have just received your note, which has astonished me, & has most truly grieved me.— I never for one minute doubted of your success, for I most erroneously imagined, that merit was sure to gain the day.—1 I feel most sure, that the day will come soon, when those who have voted against you if they have any shame or conscience in them, will be ashamed at having allowed politics to blind their eyes to your qualifications & those qualifications vouched for by Humboldt & Brown! Well those testimonials must be a consolation to you.2 Proh pudor, I am vexed & indignant by turns.— I cannot even take comfort in thinking that I shall see more of you & extract more knowledge from your well-arranged stock.— I am pleased to think, that after having read a few of your letters, I never once doubted the position you will ultimately hold amongst Europaean Botanists— I can think about nothing else, otherwise I shd like discuss Cosmos with you.— I trust you will pay me & my wife a visit this autumn at Down.— I shall be at Down on the 24th & till then moving about.

My dear Hooker, allow me to call myself Your very true friend | C. Darwin

DAR 114.1: 43

1 Hooker had lost the election for the chair of botany at Edinburgh University to John Hutton Balfour. See the Scotsman, 8 October 1845.

2 J. D. Hooker 1845c.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 258-259

To Charles Lyell 8 October [1845]

Shrewsbury
October 8th

My dear Lyell
 

. . . Have you read Cosmos yet: the English Translation is wretched,9 & the semi-metaphsico-poetico-descriptions in the first part are barely intelligible; but I think the volcanic discussion well worth your attention; it has astonished me by its vigour & information.— I grieve to find Humboldt an adorer of Von Buch, with his classification of volcanos, craters of Elevation &c &c & carbonic-acid gas atmosphere. He is, indeed a wonderful man. . . .

Postmark: OC 8 1845

American Philosophical Society

9 Humboldt 1845-8, translated by Augustin Prichard. Volume one deals with astronomy and geology. Volcanoes are discussed on pp. 213-38.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 261-262

To J. D. Hooker 28 October [1845]

Down. Bromley Kent.
Oct. 28th

My dear Hooker
 

. . . I have finished Cosmos & you must excuse my having sent it to be half-bound, for I was really ashamed to return it, with the outside (not inside) in so tattered a condition. On the whole I am rather disappointed with it; though some parts strike me as admirable; there is so much repetition of the Personal Narrative, & I think no new views, in those parts on which I can at all judge.— His occasional notice of my Journal ought to turn my head.3 . . .

DAR 114.1:44-446

3 Humboldt 1845-8, 1: 302, 319.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 267-268

To J. D. Hooker [17 November 1845]

Down Bromley Kent
Monday

My dear Hooker
 

. . . I hope you have received Cosmos, if not, please inform me.— What am I do with your parcels for Ehrenberg & Humboldt: I am going to London for a few days to my Brothers "7 Park St Grosvenor Sqr" & will take them with me & I will forward them per steam-boat or leave them till called for, or bring them back with me & return them with the pamphlets which you have so kindly lent me, but wh. will take me some time to read. I have sent to see if I can buy Geograph. Part of Canary 1sd2 for I am ashamed to say I have not yet got on with it. . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 269-271

From J. D. Hooker [19 November 1845]1

Kew
Wednesday

My dear Darwin
I doubt not you are very busy & I shall therefore be brief in answers to your last.

There are not more than two numbers to all the Gal. collection that I can find. I have often tried to make your notes hinge on to the species. I wish you would come & take a look at them before I return them to Henslow. "Cosmos" came all right, I am quite annoyed at your binding it, but obliged truly all the same. Please send back my things for Humboldt by bearer, or else to Hiscock's Kew boat Hungerford Stairs or by P. Deliv. Coy, not by Steamer. . . .

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 341-343

From J. D. Hooker 28 September 1846

West Park Kew
Septr 28. 1846.

Dear Darwin
 

. . . Have you seen the new Cosmos?6 it is excellently well done & quite a different book to read— I will send or bring it you if you care. Should Capt. Sulivan stay over Sunday week with you, & it be entirely convenient for me to come, I wd try & get down, if only for a day, but do not see why I should not take my usual allowance at Down..

Ever most truly Yours | Jos D Hooker.

DAR 100: 69-72

6 Humboldt 1846-8, a new translation into English by Elizabeth Sabine that superseded the previous translation by Augustm Pnchard (Humboldt 1845-8).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Volume III, 1844-1846, pp. 346-347

To J. D. Hooker [2 October 1846]1

Down Farnborough Kent
Friday

My dear Hooker
 

. . . Thanks for all your curious information on distribution, & offer of books. Kosmos I will buy,2 but I shd be very glad to borrow Watson, though I am in no sort of hurry for it, as I have several Books in hand, not having even yet had time & inclination to read Forbes;3 as I feel that one must buckle to for such a task. I am rather low at hearing that your discussion on relations of Southern & northern forms will appear in Linn. Transt as I fear it will be almost indefinitely delayed. You must indeed have a great deal of work on hand & I heartily wish you had as much leisure as I now have. . . .

DAR 114.2: 65

2 Humboldt 1846-8. There is a copy in the Darwin Library-CUL.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Volume IV, 1847-1850, pp. 114-119

From J. D. Hooker 20 February - 16 [March] 1848
Kosderah—E bank of Soane-River, a tributary of Ganges) near Bidjegur—

Feby 20. 1848.

My dear Darwin
 

. . . I find as, might be expected, that the Natural features of this vast area seperate different species in most cases, & that sometimes the limits of the latter, though defined, are apparently not subject to any evident law but to caprice, thus, where I am now, on the Soane river;3 I am given to understand the little antelope never crosses this river to the Eastward, nor the Gaur, or the large antelope to the West., there is a broad plain between the boundary of each, seperating the heights (700-1000 ft) which each inhabits, but no other obstacle to migration, (& that is none)— this reminds one of the Obi in Siberia4 . . .

4 See Correspondence vol. 3, letter to J. D. Hooker, [10-11 November 1844], for CD's comments on Alexander von Humboldt's description of the existence of two floras separated by the river Obi in Siberia.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Volume IV, 1847-1850, pp. 135-136

To Edward Cresy [May 1848]1

Down, Farnborough, Kent
Monday.

Dear Cresy
 

I believe your judgement to be quite right about the Second vol. of Kosmos,6 but I confess with shame I was unable to appreciate its merits. Such long semiantiquarian discussions appeared to me out of proportion to the rest of the book, and hardly compatible with a grand coup d’œil of the whole universe.7 But then I am such a Goth that I have some prejudice against antiquarianism, which is a bold confession when made to you.8 Did you read Hershel’s review of Kosmos in the Edinburgh;9 it struck me as very good.

Copy DAR 143

6 A von Humboldt 1846-8, the English translation by Elizabeth Juliana Sabine. CD refers to the second volume, published in 1848, which he recorded having read in May (DAR 119, Appendix IV) Volumes one and two are in the Darwin Library Down.

7 Volume two of A von Humboldt 1846-8 opens with a section entitled 'Incitements to the study of nature', comprising a history of poetic descriptions of nature, landscape painting, and the culture of exotic plants. The remaining pages deal with the history of the contemplation of the universe from the earliest times to the modern period.

8 Both of Cresy's parents wrote books devoted to ancient and medieval architecture. Edward Cresy Sr was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (DNB).

9 Herschel 1848 The review appeared in the January issue of the Edinburgh Review. Praising Alexander von Humboldt for his knowledge, John Frederick William Herschel reviewed volume one of the German edition (A von Humboldt 1845-62) favourably and expected volume two (only part of which was available to him in proof-sheets) to be a valuable, albeit more literary and less scientific, contribution.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Volume IV, 1847-1850, pp. 203-206

From J.D. Hooker 3 February 1849

Dorjiling1
Feby 3d 1849.

Dear Darwin
. . . Here too I am in the way of establishing a credit for Industry & careful collection of valuable facts, if I can only stick to my work, & that's the best character a traveller can bear, who is not blessed with Humboldts powers.12 . . .

Royal Bolanic Gardens, Kew (Indian Letters 1847-51: 136-7)

12 Alexander von Humboldt had supported Hooker's efforts to get a grant to travel to India (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1. 218). Before Hooker sailed, Humboldt wrote him a long letter fall of instructions about the kind of observations Hooker could make in the Himalayas (Allan 1967, p. 168). Most of Humboldt's letter is printed in the London Journal of Botany (1847) 6: 604-7.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Volume IV, 1847-1850, pp. 251-254

To Chalres Lyell [2 September 1849]1

Down Farnborough Kent
Sunday

My dear Lyell
 

. . . The frequency of a deep ocean close to a rising continent, bordered with mountains, seems to indicate these opposite movements of rising & sinking close together: this wd easily explain the S. Wales & Eocene cases. — I will only add that I shd think there wd be a little more sediment produced during subsidence than during elevation, from the resulting outline of coast after long period of rise.— There are many points in my vols which I shd have liked to have discussed with you, but I will not plague you: I shd like to hear whether you think there is anything in my conjecture on Craters of Elevation;5 I cannot possibly believe that St. Jago or Mauritius are the basal fragments of ordinary volcanos; I wd sooner even admit E. de Beaumont's view than that; much as I wd sooner in my own mind in all cases follow you.—Just look at p. 232 in my S. America for trifling point,6 which however, I remember, to this day releived my mind of a considerable difficulty. . . .

5 This was the name given by Christian Leopold von Buch, and adopted by Jean Baptiste Armand Louis Leonce Elie de Beaumont, to the theory originally proposed by Alexander von Humboldt that volcanic cones were formed by upward pressure, rather than by the eruption of lava through vents. Such pressure raised originally horizontal layers into a dome that was easily broken through. Lyell had opposed this view as early as 1830 in the first volume of his Principles of geology (C. Lyell 1830-3). For a history of the controversy see Dean 1980. CD speculated that the mountains might still be considered 'craters of elevation' by slow elevation, in which the central hollows were formed 'not by the arching of the surface, but simply by that part having been raised to a less height' (Volcanic Islands, p. 96).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Volume IV, 1847-1850, pp. 271-272

To Swale and Wilson1 [on or before 24 October 1849]2

Down

Dear Sir
Will you please to send to address on other page by next Wednesday night,

———

Footprints of a Creator (by H. Miller)3

———

Humboldts letters of a Statesman translated recently4

———

Six cards of “Patent Parryian National Pen Nor 3.: Fine Points5
NB please attend that this kind be sent.
And a packet of 100 of Newspaper covers;6 I think patented by Delafield — viz a strip of paper with a tape let in. —

Yours faithfully | C. Darwin

C. Darwin Ese
Care of G. Snow
Nag’s Head
Borough.

NB Carrier goes on Thursday morning

W. H. Thorpe

1 The conjectured recipients, Swale and Wilson of 21 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, were publishers, general stationers, and news-vendors (Post Office London directory 1849) CD's account Book (Down House MS) shows payments for newspapers and books to this bookseller.

2 Dated from the reference to Hugh Miller's book (Miller 1849) and from the letter to M. E. Lyell [24 October 1849], in which CD stated he had just ordered a copy of the work for himself.

3 Miller 1849. CD recorded having read it on 21 November 1849 (DAR 119, Appendix IV). His unannotated copy is in the Darwin Library-Down.

4 K. W. von Humboldt 1849. CD did not record reading this work until 20 April 1852, when he noted: 'William Humboldts letters, partly read.' (DAR 128, Appendix IV).

5 A sprung-steel nib that slipped onto a wooden shaft, patented in 1830 by James Perry, a bookseller and stationer in Red Lion Yard, London.

6 Wrappers used for forwarding newspapers and magazines through the post.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Volume IV, 1847-1850, pp. 328-330

From J. D. Hooker 6 and 7 April 1850

Govt. House Calcutta
April 6. 1850

My dear Darwin
. . . The whole Mt. system is however incredibly complicated & I exceedingly doubt Humboldts system6 of 6 Mt chains—4 transverse, the Himal. Koen Lun Thian schan & Altai—& 2 vertical, the Boloor & Chinese range whose name I forget. . .

HC.7 Bot Gardens. April 7th 1850

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Indian Letters 1847-51: 274-6)

6 A. von Humboldt 1843. During preparations for the expedition, Alexander von Humboldt had advised Hooker on geological and geographical observations to be made (see second letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1849, n. 12).

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Volume V, 1851-1855, pp. 87-88

To the Chairman of the Committee of Papers, Royal Society
16 March [1852]

Down Kent
March. 16th

Sir
. . . I may here just allude to the observations by Humboldt & others,3 showing the uniformity of strike in the metamorphic schists in one given direction over surprisingly large regions in other parts of the world,— as for instance in New S. Wales, where the strike serves as a compass to people travelling through the woods,— I allude to this, as offering some proof that the subject is not of limited interest. . . .

The Royal Society (RR2: 226)

3 CD cited Gardner 1840, Schomburgk 1842, and Humboldt 1814-29 in South America, p. 141. No location is given for Alexander von Humboldt's observation, but see Humboldt 1814-29, 4: 384-5, and 5: 394-8. CD's copy of this work is in the Darwin Library-CUL.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Volume V, 1851-1855, pp. 184-185

From J. D. Hooker [c. 25 March 1854]1

[incomplete]

going out to India in the E.I.C.2 auspices to do magnetism.) he3 writes in great force, & asks about tints upon snow. he had not received my book yet. I understand he is very wroth at the Quarterly Review Article upon Cosmos.4 . . .

AL incomplete

DAR 205.9 (Letters)

1 Dated by CD's reference in the following letter to having received Hooker's letter on the morning of 26 March 1854. The two surviving pages of the letter are numbered 'III' and 'IV.

2 East India Company.

3 A reference to Alexander von Humboldt (see n. 4, below). For Hooker's personal acquaintance with Humboldt, see Correspondence vol. 3, letter from J. D. Hooker, [late February 1845]. Humboldt's interest in Hooker's Himalayan expedition is discussed in L. Huxley ed. 1918, I: 218, and in Correspondence vol. 4, letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1849, n. 12.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Volume V, 1851-1855, pp. 186-188

To J. D. Hooker 26 March [1854]

Down Farnborough Kent
March 26th

My dear Hooker
 

. . . Very many thanks for answers about Glaciers. I am very glad to hear of the second Edit. so very soon; but am not surprised for I have heard of several, in our small circle, reading it with very much pleasure. I shall be curious to hear what Humboldt will say; it will, I shd think, delight him & meet with more praise from him, than any other book of Travels, for I cannot remember one, which has so many subjects in common with him. What a wonderful old fellow he is.—4 I suppose you know that Sir H. Holland wrote the Quarterly Review;5 but very probably he wd not like this to be spread. . . .

DAR 114.3: 120

5 Henry Holland, physician in ordinary to Queen Victoria, was a distant cousin of CD and occasionally his physician. For CD's low opinion of Holland's scientific qualifications, see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, [18 April 1847]. He had reviewed the first three volumes of Humboldt 1846-58 for the Quarterly Review.

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The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Volume V, 1851-1855, pp. 214-216

To J. D. Hooker 7 September [1854]

Down.
Sept. 7th

My dear Hooker
. . . By the way I thank Mrs Hooker much for sending me Humboldts letter, (so splendidly copied out):11 it really must be very satisfactory to you to see how well he has read your Book. . . .

11 The copy of Alexander von Humboldt's letter to Hooker has not been found among the Darwin correspondence. The original is preserved in the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Volume V, 1851-1855, pp. 265-257

To Charles Lyell 14 January [1855]

Down Farnborough Kent
Jan. 14th

My dear Lyell
 

. . . I believe some gneiss, as the gneiss-granite of Humboldt,4 has been as fluid as granite; but I do not, of course, believe that this is usually the case, from the frequent alternation of glossy clay & chlorite slates, which we cannot suppose to have been melted. . . .

American Philosophical Society 111

4 CD cited Alexander von Humboldt's observations on huge tracts of foliated 'gneiss-granite' in Venezuela in South America, pp. 141, 164, with reference to Humboldt 1814-29, 6: 591-7.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Volume V, 1851-1855, pp. 302-303

From C. J. F. Bunbury 10 April 1855

17 Queens Road West
April 10, 1855

My dear Darwin,
 

. . . The Amatola, & other mountains of Caffraria, remain to be examined. I am very sorry that when I was on the frontier I did not visit the Winterberg, which is supposed to be 8000 ft high; it appeared however so constantly free from clouds, (& this was in the autumn & beginning of winter,) that I should suspect it would be very dry, & consequently unproductive.

Secondly, as to Rubus.3 This is a genus very widely spread, & there are several tropical species. One, very like our common Brambles in general appearance, grows at Rio de Janeiro, at a very moderate elevation, among Melastomaceae & other thoroughly tropical forms. There are others in the interior of Brasil, & Humboldt, I think, mentions Rubi in the valley of Caraccas. . . .

AL incomplete

DAR 205.4 (Letters)

3 A genus in which it was considered very difficult to separate species from varieties.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Volume VII, 1858-1859, pp. 477-478

To Ernst Dieffenbach 4 July [1843]

Down near Bromley | Kent
July 4th-

Dear Sir
 

. . . It is most gratifying to me that your eminent countrymen Liebig & the great Humboldt (to whose works I am indebted for my first wish to travel) should approve of my volume. 11 . . .

Postmark: Hamburg 21 7 43

Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek, Darmstadt

11 For Alexander von Humboldt's praise of CD's Journal and remarks, see Correspondence vol. 2, letter from Alexander von Humboldt, 18 September 1839. See also Correspondence vol. 3, letter to J. D. Hooker, [3-17 February 1844], in which CD told Joseph Dalton Hooker that Dieffenbach translated his Journal of researches 'at the instigation of Liebig & Humboldt'. Justus von Liebig was a patron of Dieffenbach.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Volume IX, 1861, pp. 135-136

To John Frederick William Herschel 23 May [1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
May 23d

Dear Sir John Herschel
 

. . . You will think me very conceited when I say I feel quite easy about the ultimate success of my views, (with much error, as yet unseen by me, to be no doubt eliminated); & I feel this confidence, because I find so many young & middle-aged truly good workers in different branches, either partially or wholly accepting my views, because they find that they can thus group & understand many scattered facts. This has occurred with those who have chiefly or almost exclusively studied morphology, geographical Distribution, systematic Botany, simple geology & palaeontology For­give me boasting, if you can, I do so because I shd value your partial acquiescence in my views, more than that of almost any other human being.—5

Believe me with much respect | Yours, sincerely & obliged | Charles Darwin

Royal Society (HS 6:17)

5 In his Autobiography CD stated that Herschel's Introduction to the study of natural philosophy (Herschel 1831) was one of the two books that had most influenced him, the other one being Alexander von Humboldt's Personal narrative (Humboldt 1814—29) He recalled that the two 'stirred up in me a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of Natural Science. No one or a dozen other books influenced me nearly so much as these two.' (Autobiography, p. 68). On the importance of Herschel's philosophical writings for CD's methodology, see Ruse 1975.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Volume XI, 1863, pp. 98-100

From Isaac Anderson-Henry 31 January 1863

Hay Lodge, | Trinity, | Edinburgh.
Jany 31/63

My dear Sir
. . . These Rhexias relaise Humboldts fear (I think it is Humboldts)10 that certain plants from these elevated Plateaus are difficult to bring into bloom in Europe—& vice versa, Dr J mentions the same difficulty there with some European fruits. I have one thing more than 10 years old not 1 foot high, a Rhexia,11 which shows no symptom of blooming yet.

DAR 159: 62

10 Alexander von Humboldt.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Volume XI, 1863, pp. 590-591

To Charles Lyell 14 August [1863]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Aug. 14th

My dear Lyell
 

. . . If you have not read Bates' book; I think it would interest you.12 He is second: only to Humboldt in describing a Tropical forest.13 Talking of reading I have never yet got the Edinburgh, in which I suppose you are cut up. 14 . . .

Endorsement: '1863'

American Philosophical Society (296)

13 CD refers to Alexander von Humboldt and the descriptions of tropical forests in Personal narrative of travels to the equinoctial regions of the new continent during the years 1799-1804 (Humboldt and Bonpland 1822). CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Library-CUL. On the inspiration CD derived from reading Humboldt, see Correspondence vols. 1—3, and Autobiography, pp. 6768.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Volume XII, 1864, pp. 269-270

From George Bentham 10 July 1864

25, Wilton Place, | S.W.
July 10/64

My dear Darwin
I enclose flowers of the two forms of two species of Ægiphila1 (Verbenaceae never referred by me to Labiatae)2 the long stamened marked ♂ the short stamened ♀—the two forms always on different specimens and often made two species of although admitted to differ in no other particular.Thus the long and short stamened Æ mollis are both figured by H. B. K. the former as Æ Mutisia, the latter as & mollis 3 . . .

DAR 110: B107-9

1 See letter to George Bentham, 7 July [1864] CD describes the flowers of Aegiphila elata and A. mollis, which were sent by Bentham, in Forms of flowers, pp. 123—4.

2 See letter to George Bentham, 7 July [1864] and nn. 7 and 8.

3 The reference is to Alexander von Humboldt, Aimé Bonpland, and Karl Sigismund Kunth, Nova genera et species plantarum (Humboldt et al. 1815-25), volume 2, figures 130 and 131.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Volume XII, 1864, pp. 327-328

From Hermann Kindt 16 September 1864

Yarm, Yorkshire

Sept. 16. 1864.

Sir,
I beg to thank you for your so kindly acknowledging my inquiries regarding your vorks on "Orchids" and "The Cirripedia".1 My friend, I have since heard, did not know of Professor Bronn's translation of the former work, although he possesses himself the late professor's Translation of your excellent work on "The Origin of Species", of which translation, I understand, the second edition of 1863 seems to be nearly exhausted. 2 My countrymen, as you may know, consider your enlightening works as a kind of intellectual hand-in-hand reading with or rather to Dr. Louis Büchner's philosophical writings;3 whilst others, who have been happy enough to pursue your graphic Zoological descriptions and annotations in your "Zoology of the voyage of H. M. Ship Beagle" in the original language, are delighted with the vivid, Humboldt-like pictures you bring before their mental eyes.4 . . .

DAR 169: 12

1 The references are to Orchids and to Living Cirripedia (1851) and (1854). See letter from Hermann Kindt, 5 September 1864. CD's letter to Kindt has not been found.

2 Kindt's friend has not been identified. Kindt refers to Heinrich Georg Bronn's translation of Orchids (Bronn trans. 1862), the first German edition of Origin, published in 1860, 'and the second German edition, published in 1863 (Bronn trans 1860 and Bronn trans. 1863). A third German edition of Origin was published in 1867 (see Freeman 1977, p. 103).

3 See letter from Hermann Kindt, 5 September 1864 and n. 3.

4 The references are to Zoology, and to Alexander von Humboldt CD's descriptions of the tropical landscape were influenced by Humboldt's travel narratives (see Correspondence vols. 1 and 2, Browne 1995, pp. 133-6, 211-2, and Kohn 1996, pp. 15-19). For a discussion of Humboldt's work in the context of German romanticism and Naturphilosophie, see Nicolson 1990.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Volume XIII, 1865, pp. 237-239

To A.R. Wallace 22 September [1865]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Sep 22

Dear Wallace
 

. . . Do you make any progress with your journal of travels?3 I am the more anxious that you shd do so as I have lately read with much interest some papers by you on the Ouran Outang &c—in the Annals of which I have lately been reading the latter volumes.4 I have always thought that Journals of this nature do considerable good by advancing the taste for Natural history; I know in my own case that nothing ever stimulated my zeal so much as reading Humboldt's Personal Narrative 5 . . .

LS

British Library (Add. MS 46434 f. 56)

3 In his letter to CD of a January 1864, Wallace mentioned that he had started work on a 'small book' of his travels, and that he hoped to finish it by Christmas 1864 (sec Correspondence vol. 12, letter from A. R. Wallace, 2 January 1864 and n. 10). Wallace later recalled that he spent much of 1867 and 1868 writing The Malay Archipelago (A. R. Wallace 1869); he spent the preceding three years in preparatory work related to his collections (A. R. Wallace 1905, 1: 405-6).

4 Three articles by Wallace on orang-utans appeared in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History in 1856 (A. R. Wallace 1856a, 1856b, and 1856c; see also letter to J. D. Hooker, 27 [or 28 September 1865], n. 12).

5 CD's seven volumes of Humboldt 1814-29, in various editions, all annotated, are in the Darwin Library-CUL (see Marginalia 1: 415-20). On 17 December 1840, CD recorded having read Humboldt 1814-29 (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 119: 10a). On the inspiration CD derived from reading Alexander von Humboldt, see Correspondence vols. 1-3, and Autobiography, pp. 67-8.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Volume XIV, 1866, pp. 67-69

From C. J. F. Bunbury to Charles Lyell 20 February 1866

Barton
February 20th, 1866.

My Dear Lyell,
Very many thanks for sending me Hooker's and Darwin's letters, which I have read with great interest.1 I agree in almost everything that Hooker says, as far as I can make him out, but his letter is very hard to read. I differ from Darwin as to the plants which he quotes, as instances of the occurrence of temperate forms on the Organ Mountains; he seems to consider as a "temperate" genus every genus which is found at all in temperate climates, and here I think him mistaken.2 I think I mentioned in my former letter, that, besides the strictly tropical forms on those peaks, there are species of genera which are very widely spread, and not specially either tropical or the reverse.3 Such a genus is Hypericum, one of those which Darwin enumerates; it is found in almost all parts of the world, except very cold countries. Clematis (which he does not mention) is another instance of the same kind. Drosera and Habernaria (as Hooker points out) have certainly their maximum within the tropics.4 If there are Vacciniums on the Organ mountains, they are of the sub-genus (Gaylussacia of Humboldt), which belongs specially to South America, and of which there is a species even on the coast of Brazil, in the island of St. Catherine 5. . .

F.J. Bunbury ed. 1891-3, Later life 1: 144-7

1 The reference is to the letter from CD to Charles Lyell, 7 February [1866], possibly also to the letter to Charles Lyell, 15 February [1866] and, probably, to the letter from Joseph Dalton Hooker to Lyell that was mentioned in CD's letter to Charles Lyell, 15 February [1866]. The letter from Hooker has not been found.

2 For the 'temperate' genera mentioned by CD as occurring on the Serra dos Orgãos, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, see the letter to Charles Lyell, 7 February [1866] and nn. 7 and 8. See also letter to Charles Lyell, 15 February [1866] and n. 5.

3 For Bunbury's earlier remarks on the plant species of the Serra dos Orgãos occurring elsewhere in Brazil, see the letter from C. J. F. Bunbury to Charles Lyell, 3 February 1866.

4 CD had described Hypericum, Drosera, and Habenaria as 'temperate' genera (see letter to Charles Lyell, 7 February [1866] and n. 8).

5 See letter to Charles Lyell, 7 February [1866] and n. 8. Gaylussacia is closely allied to Vaccinium (Lindley 1853, pp. 7578). A single species was described in Humboldt et at. 1815—25, 3: 215-6. CD made a note of Bunbury's objection tha Vaccinium plants on the Organ mountains in Brazil were not temperate species, but members of the tropical subgenus Gaylussacia (DAR 50: E47). See also letter to Charles Lyell, 22 February [1866], n. a.

_____________________________________________________________________

Please note. The above excerpts from the Cambridge edition of the correspondence take into account volumes published so far. As the excerpts below indicate, Darwin continued to refer to Humboldt after 1866. F.B.

_____________________________________________________________________

Francis Darwin, More Letters of Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1903.
Volume I, pp. 493-494

To J.D. Hooker

Down, Jan. 15th [1867]

Thanks for the jolly letter. I have read your second article,2 and like it even more than the first, and more than this I cannot say. By mere chance I stumbled yesterday on a passage in Humboldt that a violet grows on the Peak of Teneriffe in common with Pyrenees. If Humboldt is right that the Canary Is. which lie nearest to the continent have a much stronger African character than the others, ought you not just to allude to this? I do not know whether you admit, and if so allude to, the view which seems to me probable, that most of the genera confined to the Atlantic islands (I do not say species) originally existed in, and were derived from, Europe, [and have] become extinct on this continent. I should thus account for the community of peculiar genera in the several Atlantic islands. About the Salvages1 is capital. I am glad you speak of linking, though this sounds a little too close, instead of being continuous. All about St. Helena is grand. You have no faith but if I knew any one who lived in St. Helena I would supplicate him to send me home a cask or two of earth from a few inches beneath the surface from the upper part of the island, and from any dried-up pond, and thus, as sure as I’m a wriggler, I should receive a multitude of lost plants. . . .

2 The lecture on Insular Floras was published in installments in the Gardener’s Chronicle, Jan. 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, 1867.

1 The Salvages are rocky islets about midway between Madeira and the Canaries; and they have an Atlantic flora, instead of, as might have been expected, one composed of African immigrants. (Insular Floras, p. 5 of separate copy).

_____________________________________________________________________

F. Darwin, ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1905.
Vol. II, pp. 422-424
[The following letter refers to Sir J.D. Hooker's Geographical address at the York Meeting (1881) of the British Association]:


C. DARWIN TO J.D. HOOKER. Down, August 6, 1881. My dear Hooker,
. . . Your idea, to show what travellers have done, seems to me a brilliant and just one, especially considering your audience.
1. I know nothing about Tournefort's works.
2. I believe that you are fully right in calling Humboldt the greatest scientific traveller who ever lived, I have lately read two or three volumes again. His Geology is funny stuff; but that merely means that he was not in advance of his age. I should say he was wonderful, more for his near approach to omniscience than for originality. Whether or not his position as a scientific man is as eminent as we think, you might truly call him the parent of a grand progeny of scientific travellers, who, taken together, have done much for science.
3. It seems to me quite just to give Lyell (and secondarily E. Forbes) a very prominent place.
4. Dana was, I believe, the first man who maintained the [page 423] permanence of continents and the great oceans. . . .When I read the 'Challenger's' conclusion that sediment from the land is not deposited at greater distances than 200 or 300 miles from the land, I was much strengthened in my old belief. Wallace seems to me to have argued the case excellently. Nevertheless, I would speak, if I were in your place, rather cautiously; for T. Mellard Reade has argued lately with some force against the view; but I cannot call to mind his arguments. If forced to express a judgment, I should abide by the view of approximate permanence since Cambrian days.
5. The extreme importance of the Arctic fossil-plants, is self-evident. Take the opportunity of groaning over [our] ignorance of the Lignite Plants of Kerguelen Land, or any Antarctic land. It might do good.
6. I cannot avoid feeling sceptical about the travelling of plants from the North except during the Tertiary period. It may of course have been so and probably was so from one of the two poles at the earliest period, during Pre-Cambrian ages; but such speculations seem to me hardly scientific seeing how little we know of the old Floras. I will now jot down without any order a few miscellaneous remarks. _____________________________________________________________________

Francis Darwin, More Letters of Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1903.
Volume II, pp. 26-27

To J. D. Hooker.

Down, Aug. l2th, 1881.

. . . . I think that I must have expressed myself badly about Humboldt. I should have said that he was more remarkable for his astounding knowledge than for originality. I have always looked at him as, in fact, the founder of the geographical distribution of organisms. . . .

III. Marginalia   Top

Mario A. Di Gregorio, Charles Darwin’s Marginalia (New York & London: Garland, 1990)
“The marginalia suggest that two authors who had an enormous impact on C[harles]D[arwin] were Alphonse de Candolle and Alexander Humboldt.” . . . . Humboldt, especially in the Personal Narrative, got C[harles]D[arwin] thinking about distribution and the relation of organism to organism in the context of isolation, extinction and the breeding of wild and domesticated animals: “Camels abundant in Fortaventura and vegetation different from . . . other islands – NB Numerous wild asses formerly in Fortaventura” (416f). If Humboldt’s almost ecstatic tone exicited C[harles]D[arwin], it seems to have been towards envisioning a raw elementalism incompatible with Humboldt’s Panglossian optimism, his falsely a priori harmonious world where adaptations are basically perfect. On the contrary, the raw elementalism is hardly even hidden below the surface: “to show how animals prey on each other – what a ‘positive’ check . . . Think of death only in Terrestrial Vertebrates . . . Small Carnivora – Hawks – what hourly carnage in the magnificent calm picture of Tropical forests . . . Probably two or three hundred thousand Jaguars in S. America What Slaughter! Daily -- & as many Pumas (418-g).” p. xxxiv - xxxv

IV. Acknowledgments   Top


A useful tool for identifying references to Humboldt in Darwin’s works, especially from the diary and individual writings, but not including the correspondence, was Internet edition of The Works of Charles Darwin, published by InteLex Corporation, 2001. Texts copyright © Pickering & Chatto, 2001 (verified on the basis of the Barrett/Freeman edition).