RECORD: Chester, Joseph Lemuel. 1882.05.01. Letter to [George] Darwin. CUL-DAR215.10d. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. Corrections by Anne Secord 4.2022. RN3

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

"Chester, Colonel Joseph Lemuel, 1821-82. American genealogist. Worked on early history of the Darwin family. George's manuscript notes for C are in the Galton papers at University College London. 1855-58 Aide-de-Camp of James Pollock, governor of Pennsylvania, with rank of Colonel. 1858 C settled in London. 1879 Henrietta "My brothers had been having the pedigree of the Darwins made out by a certain Colonel Chester". ED2:237." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)

Colonel Joseph Lemuel Chester died on 26 May 1882 and was buried in Nunhead Cemetery in London. He has a memorial in the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey.


124, Southwark Park Road, London, S.E.

1 May '82

My Dear Mr Darwin

If I had had any reason to feel slighted, your kind letter would have made ample atonement. I have been & am very ill myself, from a disease from which there is probably no recovery, but I could not allow your letter & the occasion to pass without notice. I thank you for the former, & assure


you of my sincere sympathy. You already know to some extent how I reverenced your father. I think of him now as one who left the world wiser and better than he found it.

Excuse this scrawl. I have not written so much for a month.

Believe me

Sincerely yours

Jos: L. Chester

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 7 December, 2022