- Events sorted by day of the month:
Darwin was in Plymouth and started sleeping onboard the ship.
He was given quarters in the chart room, one deck above Capt.
FitzRoy's quarters, at the stern of the ship. The chart room
was nine feet by eleven feet and had five feet of generous
headroom. The walls were lined with bookshelves, cabinets,
an oven and a wash stand. To make matters worse, the mizzenmast
came up through the floor and a large four foot by six foot
chart table sat in the middle of the room. In all, there was
about six feet by eight feet of space to work in. Darwin lived
in this room, on and off, for nearly five years.
Darwin returned to London and disposed of all his fossils
at the Royal College of Surgeons. He spent the next week engaged
in looking for naturalists to take his other specimens.
Emma and Darwin had another son, Charles Waring Darwin.
With his barnacle research out of the way, Darwin went back
to work on transmutation.
Darwin returned to Down House from Ilkley Spa.
John Murray started making arrangements to print a 2nd edition
of "Origin of Species", this time 3,000 copies.
Also, a German translation was in the works.
Darwin left London for Cambridge and stayed at Revd. Henslow's
house. While there he gave a talk to the Cambridge Philosophical
Society about the formation of glassy tubes that were formed
when lightening struck the sandy beaches near Maldonado, South
While Darwin and Emma were in London for the holidays, he
experienced strong pains in his chest. The next day a doctor
was called for, but Darwin appeared to be fine by then.
Perhaps because he felt his was imposing on the Henslow's,
Darwin moved out and took lodgings in 22 Fitzwilliam Street,
After passing through the straight of Le Maire at Tierra del
Fuego, the Beagle anchored at Good Success Bay. Here Darwin
had his first encounter with savages. He was shocked by the
primitive way of life they led but was also fascinated by
them. A group of four male Fuegians met the landing party.
After an attempt to communicate with the Feugians the party
presented them with some bright red cloth and the Feugians
immediately became friendly with them. The natives initiated
a dialogue by patting the crewmen on their chests. Apparently
they had the most amazing ability to mimic the crew's gestures
and even the words they spoke, often repeating whole English
sentences back to them. Darwin was bewildered by all this.
The Beagle arrived at New Zealand. Darwin was not too impressed
with the natives, whom he viewed with suspicion (they practiced
cannibalism before the missions arrived).
Darwin replied to a letter that Wallace sent him on 27 September.
He praised Wallace for his dedication to natural science,
and for his work on the distribution of species. Darwin also
told Wallace he will not discuss the topic of man's origins,
even though it would be of highest interest to naturalists.
Darwin pointed out that he had been working on the problem
of species origins for twenty years, but would not publish
for a few years yet.
After a few delays, H.M.S. Beagle headed out from Plymouth
with a crew of 73 under clear skies and a good wind. Darwin
became sea-sick almost immediately.
Darwin and Emma had their first child, a boy whom they named
William Erasmus Darwin, after one of Darwin's great-grandfathers.
some time during this month:
Lord Palmerston proposed to Queen Victoria that Charles Darwin
should be conferred a knighthood. The proposal was abandoned,
however, when Bishop Wilberforce intervened to stop the idea.
Darwin stayed with his brother, Erasmus, in London for a week.
While there he drew up his will.
Darwin began studying for the clergy at Christ's College.
His brother, Erasmus, joined him at Cambridge where he would
be studying for his medical exams.
During winter break Darwin visited London where his brother
showed him around to the Royal Institution, Linnean Society,
and Zoological Gardens. These visits further ignited Darwin's
interest in natural history. Afterwards Darwin visited Woodhouse
to see his girlfriend, Fanny Owen.
Hooker came to Down House and Darwin picked his brains for
data on plant distribution. He became a regular visitor to
the house, sometimes staying up to a week at a time.
At last Darwin figured out how populations split off into
separate species. Using the industrial revolution as a metaphor,
he saw that populations of animals, like industry, expand
and specialize to fit into niches with competition acting
as the driving force. He saw nature as the ultimate "factory".
However, Darwin preferred not to make much of this metaphor
because it seemed to depend more on economic principles rather
than pure science.