RECORD: Darwin, C. R. et al. 1878. Lord Salisbury and the declaration against war. London Evening Standard (23 May): 5.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 12.2019, 7.2022. RN2

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here.

This was also printed in the Daily News, 23 May 1878, p. 2. As the editors of the Correspondence noted: "Darwin usually avoided any engagement in politics, but he was sufficiently exercised to sign and help distribute a letter of protest to the foreign secretary, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil (letter to R. A. T. Gascoyne-Cecil, 18 May 1878)." Correspondence vol. 26, pp. xxv and 204. Gascoyne-Cecil was the 3d Marquess of Salisbury. See also F2449, F2449b.

The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (24 May 1878) commented on this: "attached to which we are rather surprised to find the name, of Dr. Charles Darwin. Is it possible that the apostle of "natural selection" may have seen the error of his views as to the doctrine the "survival of the fittest?" We venture to submit that the Darwinian theories would have been nowhere, if the world had grown up under auspices those of the Peace Society."

[page] 5


"To the Most Hon. the Marquis of Salisbury.

"We have the honour to inform your lordship that a declaration of opinion on the subject of the policy of this country in reference to the affairs of Eastern Europe has recently been signed by upwards of 220,000 of her Majesty's subjects. This considerable number of signatures has been spontaneously attached to the declaration above mentioned in a short space of time, and many of the signatories are persons who, from their social position or their eminence in literature or science, we submit are entitled to claim your attention. We therefore venture to request that you will appoint an early day to receive a deputation who will present these signatures to your lordship, and more fully represent the views held by a large portion of the country on this important matter.

We are, your lordship's obedient servants,

(Signed) "Westminster, Rutland, Bedford, Bath, Shaftesbury, Cowper, Camoys, Coleridge, Arthur Russell, F. Leveson-Gower, J. A. Froude, R. W. Church, Charles Darwin, Charles Wood, W. Denton, George Rolleston, William Mather."

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

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