OCTOBER - Events sorted by day of the month:

October 01 1859
Darwin was finally finished with proofs of the abstract amid great illness. John Murray Publishers set a publication date of late November.

October 02 1836
H.M.S. Beagle finally arrived home after a voyage of four years, nine months, five days. They docked at Falmouth, England, at night during a storm. Darwin set off immediately for home.

October 02 1838
Darwin began his "E" and "N" Notebooks. The "E" book continued his transmutation ideas, his thoughts on the population theory of Thomas Malthus, how variation and adaptation are related, the rate of species change, the separation of the sexes, and the differences between selection by animal breeders and selection in nature. The "N" Notebook continued the topics covered in "M" but with fewer theoretical considerations and more definition of terms.

October 04 1836
Darwin arrived at The Mount in the evening and found the family was fast asleep. The next morning he strolled into the dining room while his father and sisters were having breakfast. An immediate pandemonium of delight broke out all over the house. Much celebration commenced and a few of the servants became drunk. After the house quieted down, Darwin spent the day writing letters to all his friends and relatives. Charles Robert Darwin, once an insecure college graduate, had become a seasoned naturalist and a man at the start of a journey whose conclusion would forever change the way humanity views its place in the world.

October 07 1830
Darwin returned to Cambridge for the fall term. He shifted his focus away from beetle collecting and exerted a huge burst of energy towards studying for his final exam. During this time Revd. Henslow became his private tutor.

October 08 1835
H.M.S. Beagle anchored at the northern tip of James Island. Some of the crew went on shore and met up with a party of Spanish settlers salting fish and extracting oil from tortoises. Edward Chaffers, Charles Johnson (midshipman) and six others set off on a boat to explore Bindloe, Abingdon and Tower Islands. Charles Darwin was very anxious to go exploring so he, Syms Covington (Darwin's servant), Benjamin Bynoe (acting surgeon) and H. Fuller (Bynoe's servant) stayed behind on James Island. The Beagle set sail for Chatham to get fresh water but the currents slowed them down.

October 14 1842
Darwin began working on part two of his Geological Observations series - "Volcanic Islands".

October 15 1829
Now back at Cambridge, Darwin spent all of his time studying for the preliminary exams coming up in March.

October 15 1836
Darwin went to Cambridge to see his friend Revd. John Stevens Henslow. When he arrived he spent a long time talking with Revd. Henslow about what to do with all his collections of specimens. Later in the week he met with Adam Sedgwick and they talked for hours on end about the geology of South America.

October 17 1835
They surveyed north along the eastern shore of Albermarle Island. At noon the Beagle took a detour to Punta Cordova and picked up Darwin and the others left on James Island the week before. In the afternoon they returned to Albermarle Island and spent the night sailing north along the coast. Darwin brought aboard quite a large haul of plants, animals, rocks, and insects.

October 20 1835
The entire day was spent surveying Wenman and Culpepper Islands. In the evening the crew raised all sails and under a good strong wind steered for the island of Tahiti.

October 20 1836
Darwin went to London to visit with his brother, Erasmus. He also spent a lot of time going to all the London museums, hunting for people to examine and catalogue his specimens. Unfortunately, nearly all the museums were seriously backlogged with specimens recently brought in from the British Colonies.

October 24 1836
Darwin spent his time waiting around in London for the Beagle to arrive at the Woolwich dockyards.

October 29 1836
H.M.S. Beagle arrived at the Woolwich dockyards to be paid off. Darwin got the remaining crates off the ship with Syms Covington's help. He became very worried about what to do with the huge pile of crates sitting on the dock. Eventually much of them went to Revd. Henslow in Cambridge. In the evening he met Charles Lyell for the first time at Lyell's house for dinner, and was also introduced to Richard Owen. Lyell helped Darwin in finding naturalists to take his specimens for examination, and Owen eagerly volunteered to examine some his animal and fossil specimens.

October 31 1828
He returned to Christ's College, and took up residence in Revd. William Paley's former rooms.

Events some time during this month:

October (early) 1829
Darwin attended the Birmingham Music Festival with the Wedgwood family.

October (early) 1859
Wanting to get as far away from London as possible, Darwin went off to Ilkley Spa in Yorkshire to "ride out the storm" that his book would likely create, and to treat his ill health.

October (late) 1834
Another shipment of specimens was sent to Revd. Henslow. This one included many bird skins, insects, seeds, some plants, and water and gas samples from some hot springs in the Andes Mountains.

October (mid) 1825
Eager that Darwin should not "go astray" his father decided that his son will pursue a medical career as he and his grandfather did before him. Darwin was sent to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, known as having one of the best medical schools in all of Europe. Once there he joined his brother, Erasmus, having finished most of his medical studies at Cambridge. They took lodgings together in 11 Lothian Street, right across from the University. Darwin did not particularly take a liking to medical studies - the fear of the sight of blood being a major hindrance, but the primary reason for his aversion appears to be that he found the study of medicine incredibly boring.

October 1822
His brother, Erasmus, left home to study medicine at Christ's College, Cambridge University.

October 1827
Darwin was accepted into Christ's College at Cambridge, but did not start until winter term because he needed to catch up on some of his studies.

October 1838
Darwin read a book by the famous economist, Revd. Thomas Malthus, titled "Essay on the Principle of Population". In this book Malthus put forward the economic theory that as human populations grow and resources become scarce the weak die off in a struggle for existence. Darwin theorized that the same kind of relationship may exist in the wild. In other words, what Malthus saw in economics, Darwin saw in nature.

October 1844
"Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" was published by British naturalist, Robert Chambers. This was the book that brought the notion of transmutation out into the public arena. It attempted to described the entire evolution of the universe, from planets to people, as being driven by some kind of self developing force which acted according to natural laws. The book was written more for the poor working class of England, rather than the scientific elite, for it appealed to their desire to "evolve" beyond their wretched economic circumstances. Unfortunately, it received widespread criticism because it went against the old scientific school of thought which said that species can only be modified by the divine hand of god. Despite the harsh criticism, Vestiges sold very well.

October 1844
Darwin told his friend, Revd. Leonard Jenyns, his basic ideas about transmutation, but he received a poor response from him. Jenyns saw species as static; there was no progress or change. Perhaps at this time Darwin felt ready to send out feelers and see if any other naturalists would come to his side. Little did he know that it would be nearly nine years before another naturalist would join him.

October 1846
Descriptions of the Beagle specimens are now complete, except for one species of barnacle. Darwin was anxious to get back to work on transmutation and figured he could put together a description of this barnacle in short order. Little did he know that the study of this barnacle would explode into perhaps the most intensive research project of his life, spanning nearly eight years.

October 1866
German naturalist, Ernst Haeckel, paid a visit to Down House. Haeckel had become the professor of comparative anatomy at the University of Jena and was an avid supporter of evolution in his country. He and Darwin had an interesting meeting, waving their arms about and using makeshift sign language in a struggle to communicate. Despite communication problems, however, they got along splendidly. He was a very loud speaking gentleman and Emma could not stand to be in the same room with him.

October 1881
"The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits" was published.

Fall 1842
About the next six months were spent making changes to Down House. Some of the rooms had to be fixed up, garden walls were built, and barrier trees planted. A nearby road (Luxted Road) that passed by the house had to be made lower so passers by would not be able to look inside the house. Darwin even had a mirror put outside his study window so he could see when visitors were coming to the house.

Fall 1844
Darwin started to write his book: "Geological Observations on South America" which spelled out his theory of how the Andes Mountains were pushed upwards by slow geological forces over a very long period of time.

Fall 1847
Darwin shelved his transmutation essay because with Hooker away there was no one to provide him with feedback and guidance. Also, his barnacle research was still blooming out of control and needed much attention.

Fall 1848
Darwin's health was becoming much worse, with new symptoms showing up. He was experiencing bouts of depression, dizziness, seeing spots before his eyes, and twitching spells. He feared he was going to die soon. Due to his increased illness the barnacle research was proceeding at a snails pace.

Fall 1863
An Italian translation of Origins was completed.

Fall 1873
Work was started on the 2nd edition of "Descent of Man".