RECORD: Gordon Chancellor and John van Wyhe eds. Sydney notebook. [English Heritage 88202323] (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Gordon Chancellor, transcription typed and checked against the microfilm by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections by Chancellor 4.2007. Edited by John van Wyhe. Corrected against the manuscript by Chancellor 15.11.2007. Corrected against colour photographs and microfilm by van Wyhe 8.2008. Transcription revised and edited by van Wyhe 10-12.2008. RN8
The Beagle field notebooks have been published in:
Gordon Chancellor and John van Wyhe eds. with the assistance of Kees Rookmaaker. 2009. Charles Darwin's notebooks from the voyage of the Beagle. [Foreword by Richard Darwin Keynes]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
NOTE: This 9 x 7.5 cm notebook is bound in black leather with the border blind embossed: the hinge of the brass clasp is missing. The pages are not yellow edged. The front of the notebook has a 6 x 3 cm label of cream-coloured paper with 'Sydney Mauritius' written in ink and 'LT[V] 15' in pencil.
There are 100 pages in the notebook, the text is written in two sequences. One covering 92 pages from the front cover, the other 8 pages from the back cover. The notebook covers dates from 12 January to 30 April 1836.
Reproduced with the permission of English Heritage (Darwin Collection at Down House) and William Huxley Darwin.
General introduction to the Beagle Field Notebooks.
Chronological register to the notebooks
Introduction to the Sydney notebook
Dr Jennerett1 Rtt St
1 Henry Jeanneret (1802-86), surgeon, dentist and amateur botanist in Hobart Town, Tasmania.
16.th = Saturday [January 1836] Left Sydney — soon entered country — excellent roads, turnpike: Pothouses
too much wood land — some fine trees, all peculiar — rails instead of Hedges: many Carts Gigs — Phaetons & Horses [from] garrison soldiers
Lunched. nice little Public House. — pleasant distinction of Ranks —
Napoleon & Dan -O'connel1
Rode on to Emu ferry on the Nepean: a broard river still as a pool, small body of running water. —
Poor pasture land; but
1 Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), Irish statesman.
here & there Farm Houses: on the Nepean pretty scene, escarpment of Blue mountains, contemptible edge of great plain. cultivated land: Party of black men, beautiful precision in throwing darts: speak English — Merry
fellows: distance about 100 yds Caps at about 30 — curious throwing stick: painted white (like Fuegians) going to fight some other people: not nearly so degraded a set, as I expected, all clothed: Prisoners constable & soldiers Sandstone: frequently
many Laminated Shale beds at top of Clays with
much Clay Iron Stone Slight irregularities in the stratification: Sandstone generally moderately hard; thinly stratified, on coast dip inwards — near the Nepean first meet pebbles of [illeg] Granitic Trappean rock & [siliceous] Sandstones
Appears to descend to valley by steps: plain at base composed of fine Alluvial [strongly] sandy soil stratified, lying on a coarse conglomerate of above pebbles; great Escarpement of Blue Mountains Black men, see marks of Oppossum's feet. — chief food: no home: —
Sunday 17th — [January 1836] Started 6 oclock — ferry. ascent of Blue Mountains.
great fine woods. —
Then plain, uneven, many valleys; gradually rises great deception, when the elevation is considered of nearly 3000 ft —
[Barren] woods: poles — pale & peculiar green
Singularly uniform tint, in bushes the vertical leaves singular effect:
pretty birds, magnificent parrots: baited at the Weatherboard;1 walked mile & ½ to see Cascade: most magnificent. astounding & unique view, small valley not lead to expect such scene: rill of water,
1 'In the middle of the day we baited our horses at a little Inn, called the Weather-board.' Beagle diary, p. 309.
[illeg] fluttering: semicircular; cliff white or reddish, so vertical that pitch a stone over perhaps 800 ft, quartz wall, about 2000 ft, grand valley, sea of forest; necessary to go 16 miles to reach base of fall
certainly most stupendous cliffs I have ever seen, some stand in middle like Island.— Stratum 3000 ft thick cracked, cracks enlarged — Rode on to Gardners;1 occasionally glimpse of part of same valley
1 Andrew Gardner, a Scottish ex-soldier and ex-convict who established the Scotch Thistle Inn (1831), later Blackheath Inn.
called Clwyd from the wooded plain, could not see the bottom;Reached Black Heath, comfortable as Welsh Inn, old Soldier — 15 beds, in a barren mountain
70 60 miles from Sydney:1 Waggon with Wool. Bullocks —
owing to deposition from thickness of strata: Thin structure excessively common, all the planes well developed, dip to various points:
On a grand scale as seen from Cascade Horizontal strata & Sandstone grains of quartz & much ferruginous matter, plates, hollow balls, & Claystone Iron — line of small Quartz pebbles; rare at edge of Blue Mountains, common
at Cascade & even Inch long [as before] Blackheath: At edge of B. Mountains in Sandstone, patch of Shale like Mica Slate in Gneiss at Rio —
Grand Sandstone planes slopes to East,
valleys, most extraordinary
heads like arm of sea, appears quite out of proportion to little streams in great fissures cleared by the sea — It is an immense Sandstone formation: —
Monday 18th [January 1836] — Early in morning went to East side about 2 & ½ miles to Govetts Leap — the same absolute ┴º precipices in form of cones not affected by streams; horizontal strata; grand valley full of blue mist from rising sun: Descended Mt Victory; an extraordinary undertaking. —
Old soldier of Blackheath who had travelled1 account of the women:
1 Possibly Andrew Gardner.
Mr Browne1 men, very sensitive Scotchman, bad account of men, not reformation, or punishment, not happy but do not quarrel, excepting when drunk, — quite impossible to reform. — In Vale of Clwyd — Granite 2500 ft country improves, trees park like scattered, then covering of pasture, green
Sheep-down; whole country one aspect: white Coccatoos & Crows: wild dogs tamed: copulate freely: Mr Brownes farm, fine wheat fields harvest time just concluded 7000 sheep shearing — harvest, possess 15000 — 80 convicts; no women — miserable although from scene ought to be happy. —
Sydney — poor country; to be improved but limited: no Canals or rivers — not comparable to N. America:
M. Victoria Sandstone, with thin lines of quartz pebbles; some even inch long — ferruginous plates Quartz (Feldspar? & Mica decomposed?) Some shaly red marl, white soft aluminous
fine grained Sandstone: In whole great plain no pebbles of Granite; hence no debacles, any small ones would be decomposed:
Vale of Clwyd Granite porph. with large Cysts: of Feldspar.
concentric structure (scenery hills surmounted by balls) 3 or 4 large dykes
of decomposing greenstone spec (1) = Veins of Quartzose Granite = & paps of reddish Granite. with large Crystals of Hornblende: — This is superimposed by the Sandstone cliffs, as is one of the great valleys — Perhaps at Weatherboard Sandstone 2000 ft thick
towards Mr Brownes. [Siliceous] & Erratic rock containing grains of Quartz & scales of Mica, at distance cliffs of Sandstone & in neighbourhood Sandstone conglomerate with the pebbles of Siliceous rocks & Eurites — Granite of Vale of Clwyd about
2500 ft above sea. — Valleys most extraordinary expand with great depression surrounded by absolutely ┴º cliffs — The Chart will give correct idea of peninsula & Islands of the grand plain: in Crust or points of plains
notches at head
of opposite valleys: not present causes: forms that of marine bays.
Sea could not excavate? Sand banks, mem current cleavage & stratification edge of Blue Mountains? Cracks too large? Elevation
acted upon by the sea?
Tuesday 19th [January 1836] Staid at Mr Browne's: Kangeroo hunting on the barren slopes country can be galloped over in all parts — thin turf — peculiar character shadeless open forest park: — did not see one — My usual ill luck: killed Kangeroo
Rat:1 — In the evening walked up Cox's river. chain of pools, so dry a country. — Saw several Ornithorynch:2 like water rats, in movements & habits: — Shot one. —
Wild dog trap. —
Already pushing sheep [nearly] into remote interior:
1 The Long-nosed Potoroo (Potorous tridactylus).
2 The Duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus).
decidedly a sterile country: Forgery or gambling — [always] attempt a sporting character.
(1) Greenstone. Vale of Clwyd
(2) & 3 White Sandstone white cement.
(4) Bluish (Calc?) clay slate
(5) Black Carbonaceous do
(7) Coal other locality
(8) Blue Calc Clay S. [illeg]
Close to house, coarse Granite — Mica imperfect: the Sandstone Conglomerate reposes on this — At Wolgan: grand valley surrounded by cliffs of Sandstone: with
much a good deal of shale & Clay Slate: Section of one part gave a whitish or ferruginous Sandstone
soft [brittle], grain of quartz cemented by white aluminous matter (2 3) covering a Bluish (Calc?) Clay Slate. (4) this alternates with black
(5) carbonaceous slate, coal (6) & Sandstone & [muddy] shale.
[Many lines] One layer of coal nearly a foot thick. —
In other parts of country
there was the Blue Slate with impressions of leaves (8) & in another good stratum of coals as before (7): — Also Conglomerates Sandst. & the ordinary sandstones. —
Strata all nearly = tal:
Valley of Wolgan: large
ordinary form like a bay with arms: so precipitous, then with great [labor] in one spot a cattle track has been [cut] down, generally vertical walls, many hundred feet high: sides perpendicular reaching to general
level of country, about 7 miles long, & ½ one miles broad — appears to have all been removed & form modelled by water: yet exit of the valley, is by a narrow crack a few hundred yards wide, with stupendous vertical sides. no cattle
can pass [out] & twice the Surveyors have attempted to pass down the bed of the small river but have failed Capertee is said to have same structure, but hollow [on] valley far more extensive In Wolgan cattle can
never be lost: It is impossible water could have removed the whole mass of rock, & [nearly] hollow a crevice at its exit — Spaces of the crust have not been elevated: being detached by fissures from surrounding country: sea occupying
them hollows would [model] & give vertical sides: (Interesting to reflect on forms of lower hypogene rocks)
rivers after sea [tides] then rivers, the lake saw the exit: — Shale far more abundant than near the coast.— Granite centre supports
luxuriant vegetation & hard sandy soil: [countless] time to form so much coal & Sandstone —
Wednesday 20th [January 1836] To Bathurst Squatters Huts. =
Crawlers = The flat-bottomed valley: path through bushes: found high road — hot wind clouds of dust. — Downs of Bathurst: undulating
2560-3000 ft. Willow trees brown. — Scattered hovels in groups & here & there a good house, whole plain divided by rails into fields: thin crops of grain & still thinner pastures river chain of pools— R. Macquarie just flowing Was told not to form too high an opinion of Australia
from this & not too low from Road. — my opinion stamped —
Dividing ridge — nothing: waters into vast interior
Several gentlemans houses about 5 miles apart from one from other
— chapel Soldiers &c &c
(10) Primitive Greenstone
(11) Glossy Clay Slate
(12) Hornblendic Greenstone Dividing range low, 20 ft covered with Sandstone: In close neighbourhood & [doubtless] foundation rock is a reddish compact Quartz rock, or siliceous
Sandstone & a white Cryst Limestone (9) which I am assured is the same as at Mudgee & Wellington (doubtless bones to be found) On West slope — coarse granitic Porph with Quartz & Feldspar, & very little mica. further on compact Clay Slates & much Trappean rocks, siliceous rocks, which have the character of those
called Primitive granites. — (9)
Beyond the Green Man there is a considerable formation of a glossy Clay Slate, cleavage nearly vertical (East dip) running N & S (Mem.
Capt King1 Mica Slate) Slate has [variety] in its beds in direction
1 Philip Parker King (1793-1856), commander of the Beagle's first voyage, hydrographer and company manager in Australia.
of laminae (11) is one of the more glossy kind
In many parts of road, when cleavage was not developed, could not tell this slate from that in the Sandstone Carboniferous1 series: —
Very many large snow white Quartz veins hence pebbles of do. & form
1 Geological period now known to be c. 345-280 million years ago, named after the extensive coal deposits formed at that time. Early Secondary period. More generally, meaning bearing carbon.
Mica slate —
Crossing the slate, came to Granite, where only Quartz & Feldspar are present. — Again beyond this a Hornblendic Greenstone (12) —
There are on the borders of Bathurst downs which are elevated
2 & 3000 ft. Consist of Granite & Primitive rocks smoothed over with shingle & Diluvial (as would be called) matter — I imagine land to West which is higher from form is similarly constituted — Hence two grand
formations are seen: The Primitive one, although to appearance is low where crossed must be high because much more elevated than Bathurst Flag Post which being 2560 this land is probably higher than the Sandstone plains
which front the sea of the older formation —
21st [January 1836] — Rode about Bathurst — saw nothing — pleasant mess party —
(22nd) [January 1836] O Connel Plains — gravel terrace. same class of country to Cox's river. — Open woodland. almost all
Granite & [there] Quartz & Feldspar — which passes into a reddish Porphyry & a white Euritic one, in several parts some darker colored Trappean rocks —
Red Much Quartz rock. — essentially at spot where we
baited at Midday.
2 years from England: pretty daughter: at evening great fires: — 43 miles, hilly road — general civility —
23d [January 1836] — to Weatherboard last night horrid filth, in morning
raging fire. — Arrived soon walked to Cascade, Sandstone almost composed of Quartz-pebbles — extraordinary figures: the soft sandstone may almost be described as forming irregular balls in the harder kinds Granite of yesterday with angular dark fragments
I do not perceive any difference in manners at the Inns from England
24th [January 1836] Ill in Bed
25th [January 1836] Quiet drizzly rain: all still dripping from eaves, undulating woodland horizon of lost in thin mist — cold — great contrast
with former weather: Perhaps good for me, Jobs — comfort nice [girl] rain for three weeks
26th [January 1836] Capt King — Edge of Blue Mountain dip to sea; from irregular thinning. I think current deposition on
banks, not elevation: above plain to Paramatta which is inconsiderable — Sandstone plain higher than granitic country — No = & granite (much Quartz rock South of Bathurst — King) Sandstone of Blue Mountain 4000 ft Blackheath [either] grains of quartz, fine cemented by
ferruginous matter or white powder: included pieces of shale ∠r:
Diluvium 200-300 ft above Nepean R. — (Gorge of Nepean river). latter only 9 miles from Tide: pebbly siliceous & many Trappean rocks, one
curious kind — Traps hence Siliceous Sandstones: I think most current cleavage toward Sea Side of great Sandstone plain —
27th [January 1836] Returned Mac Arthurs1
1 Hannibal Hawkins Macarthur (1788-1861), Australian colonist, politician, businessman, wool pioneer and brother-in-law of Philip Parker King.
Greater elevation of the coast has thrown drainage into the interior Escarpement of B Mountain not formed by Nepean
Huons Isd. named by D'Entrecasteaux1 Rota de la Beche with cliffs of raised coral2 Dillons account of Perouse — Mannicolo perfect encircling reef3 SE of Radack
1 Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d'Entrecasteaux (1739-93), French navigator who explored the Australian coast in 1792.
2 De la Beche 1831, p. 142: 'the isle of Rota; where corals, resembling those now found in the neighbouring seas, occur in cliffs.' Darwin referred to the same page on the IBC.
3 Dillon 1829.
30-40 60 10 S
Craters. Corals. on Panama coast = Rodriguez1 =
Much quartz rock — [Graywacke] & Slate Staten Land
1 A volcanic island 550km north-east of Mauritius with an encircling coral reef. Cited in Coral reefs 2d ed. , p. 242.
Sandstone & S Shetland
Mr. Seales — Museum1
Jasper & quartzose rocks vertical strata of gypsum
Limestone from Sandy Bay
Prosperous Bay Gregories Valley — [Voluta & crystallised] Limestones
1 Robert F. Seale, geologist, who had a museum on St Helena. These notes and all the following entries on p. 59a to the start of p. 62a are a response to reading Seale 1834.
Buccinum vel Helix dextra near summit of Flagstaff Hill 19
00 ft. high — Bencoolen plain 1500 1576 ft —
Bone of Diomedea exulans?1 3-100 ft below surface Prosperous Bay, in a [Quarry] 14 ft deep egg
1 The wandering albatross.
Most of hill quartz veins! Phonolites & porphyries Layers of Salt with Sulph of Lime in Turk's Cap Bay Limestone principally from Sandy Bay. — Oolitic1 Limestone Flagstaff Hill
1 Composed of tiny balls of lime.
Limestone hills, from Lots wife to the sea Account of Ascension Salt & Gypsum incrustations Limestone — Fernando Noronha — geology [precious nonsense],
not truly volcanic because no scoriae!! (Yet we have seen amygdaloid)
The peak he calls a greenstone composed of Feldspar Quartz & Hornblende!! is it so? trash!!! the quartz the great [compose]
embedded siliceous schist !!!!! [Binary] granite in the [South] Shetlands There are vast blocks of granite in Kemp Bay appears to be NW & SE traversing from
the Lion's Head appearing abundantly in Turk's Bay
Thursday [5 May 1836] Rode on Elephant to between R. Rempant & house —
(N.B. more than 18ft water between reef & land at Flack) —
Elephant noiseless — charming country mango avenues, nice
gardens. — Flat plain covered with Coral, two lumps — which one must have formed islands on reefs, & such a one exists — (1) about 98 ft high, circular, 20 above sea, strata, inclined at ∠ 8 lowest ½ coarse sand, largely stratified, upper half
coarser, softer & containing great rounded rocks of Basalt, much rounded coral. part of which partly growing; 2 astrea & the [fine]
Keeling kind: & the 2d species of do Isld ? branched Madrepore1
From [illeg] [partly]
1 Specimen not in spirits 3634 'Branching Millepora, part of it encrusting a tubiform shell.' Zoology notes, p. 419, and note on p. 308.
[nearly] surface of reef
Here we have proof of foundation of reef agreement of blocks & growing coral—
Shores Basaltic much [belong] Corallina but not coral ?? —
Reef in parts dry — Here more astrea because more sea: — other [patch] dipping nearly 18º — water worn, same constitution 200 yards inland
N B Grand quaqua versal dip on all the West side; certainly distinct craters on the Isld. —
Mr Lloyd1 on the reef 5 miles from the shore; all deep
1 John Augustus Lloyd (1800-54), civil engineer and surveyor. Surveyor-General, Mauritius, 1831-49.
water between? —
Patch of rather coarse Tosca rock on Lava. very cellular subaerial —
Spring? 200 ft above the sea —؟no trace of organic remains —
Very little coral on coast of Panama Capital roads — Mimosa hedges, Sugar cane, prosperity — Indian population snow white beards Coast of Guinea? Coral? —
Both, Dyne & Radcliff say that the coral grows highest & most solid & apparently more abundantly on windward side
Reef off grand Port, so high that record to seaward —
2 to 3 ft water deep water [outside], surface rather smooth with Corallina —
Excepting where main channel for fresh water 2-4 ft of depth. —
Reef very seldom attached to shore — Frequently in bites
small reef —
I do not understand this —
Corals very different out & inside reef —
Channel seldom more than a few feet deep can wade outside At Grand Port, at Low water spring tides several ft above high
water perhaps whole reef elevated Mrs Power1 thinks that
reef that [cratering] [opens] towards the grand hill? Miserable [quarrels] between French & English
1 Mrs Power was a resident of Port Louis, Mauritius. Possibly the wife of Colonel James Power, Royal Artillery. She is also mentioned in the Red notebook, p. 17: 'Mrs Power at Port Louis talked of the extraordinary freshness of the streams of Lava in Ascencion known to be inactive 300 years?' See also a reference to a Dr Power of Mauritius in Descent 1: 335.
Hindoo convicts, most extraordinary white beards black as negros plenty of intellect negroes state, poor people Prosperity of English [government] roads, contrast to Bourbon
Sailed 9th [May 1836] —
12 of the little [Quires] from the Captain
Blackheath 3411 Nr 1 Wolgan Capita
Paper — Chaffers1 Mr Dring2 Capt King Bathurst Mica Slate Trappean Rocks Mr Blaxland3 Van Diemens Land
1 Edward Main Chaffer, Master on the Beagle.
2 John Edward Dring acting Purser on the Beagle.
3 Probably Gregory Blaxland (1778-1853) or John Blaxland (1769-1845), wealthy landowners and merchants in Australia.
[Mr] Dring — Tobacco = B Soap Dollars changed Inkstand Pencils — Blotting Paper — Writing Paper — Portfolio?
Pens Common do German Books: Spelling Dict:
Taylor — Boot-maker
Peppermint — Hops Carb of Soda & Magnesia = Laudanum Lozenges
½ oz Tinct Term. [Muriaticæ]
Lavander water —
Mr Th Walker1 James Mr Clay — Mr Bennet Mr Dring — Tobacco & Soap [Tooth] Dr Jennerat Valparaiso Letters
1 James Walker (1784-1856), former army officer and owner of Wallerawang.
Fools cap - Paper Take size Tooth-Brushes Pill Boxes Bramah pens
2 Lb of common soap & Tobacco
Textual notes to the Sydney notebook
[IFC] 1.3.] Down House number, not transcribed.
88202323] English Heritage number, not transcribed.
Bathurst 2232] written perpendicular to the spine in right margin, not transcribed.
14] added by Nora Barlow, pencil, not transcribed.
[37a] R. Macquarie just flowing] added heavy pencil.
[IBC] Blackheath...No 1] written perpendicular to the spine in left margin.
Wolgan Capita] written upside down from other entries on page.
[3b] Capt King...Land] written upside down from other entries on page.
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
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