RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1932. [Letters to J. T. Gulick, 1872 and recollection of Darwin]. In Addison Gulick, Evolutionary and missionary: John Thomas Gulick. Chicago, pp. 233-5.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 4.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here. See the fully annotated letters in Correspondence vol. 20, pp. 327, 347.

"Gulick, John Thomas, 1832-1923. American missionary and naturalist from Hawaii. 1872 correspondence about extremely limited distribution of species, especially land molluscs in Hawaii. CCD20. 1872 Aug. 2 G visited CD recollection in The American Naturalist vol. 42, no. 493 (Jan.): 48-57, transcribed in Darwin Online."
"Wagner, Moritz Friedrich, 1813-87. German traveller and naturalist. Brother of Rudolph W. With his migration theory pioneered the concept of geographical speciation in evolution. 1836-39 Explored Algiers. 1852-55 With Carl Scherzer travelled through North and South America and the Caribbean. 1868 CD to Weismann on W's views about evolution in his Die Darwin'sche Theorie und das Migrationsgesetz; English translation, 1873, in Darwin Online. 1872 CD to Weismann refers to W's views. 1876 CD to W, about his evolutionary essay in Das Ausland, May 31, 1875." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)

Emma Darwin recorded Gulick's visit on 2 August 1872 in her diary.

Gulick, John. T. 1872. On the variation of species as related to their geographical distribution, illustrated by the Achatinellinae. Nature 6 (18 July): 222-4. CUL-DAR45.179-180

Gulick, John T. 1908. [Recollection of Darwin] In Isolation and selection in the evolution of species. The need of clear definitions. The American Naturalist vol. 42, no. 493 (January): 48-57. A643

[page] 233

[…] J. T. G. to Charles Darwin:

Rochester, KENT

Saturday, July 27, 1872

Your account of the Natural History of the Galapagos Islands which I read many years ago, was the means of leading me to investigate the distribution of species at the Sandwich Islands, where I was then residing. You have perhaps seen in the number of Nature for July 18 my brief statement of some of the facts gathered in that field.

As I am now in England for a short visit, it will be a great pleasure to meet you, if you can appoint an hour when it will be convenient for you to see me. I will bring with me some of my Sandwich Island land shells, illustrating the extremely limited distribution of the species and the continuous gradation of forms from one species into another. I shall be able to come any time next week or the week after, but some time early next week will be the most convenient for me, as I am expecting to leave soon on my way to North China and Mongolia.

Yours respectfully, (etc)

Charles Darwin to J. T. G.:


July 28, 1872


I read your article with the greatest possible interest and admiration. I should be very glad to see you here and see a few of your specimens but I labor under a great disadvantage as I am much out of health and am utterly unable to talk with any one for more than a very short time, and some days I can hardly see anyone, but if you will take your chance and come here and allow me to leave you as soon I as feel my head failing I shall be delighted, yet I fear it will not be worth your trouble.

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Here is another misfortune, I expect ----- [Prof. Donders of Utrecht] to come here on Tuesday or Wednesday and I could not possibly talk to two persons on the same day. We lunch daily at 1:30 and dine at 7 and we should be very glad to see you either time or at about 4 o'clock. My head is daily bad from 2:30 to 4 o'clock. I enclose list of trains. Orpington on the S. E. Ry. is our nearest station, 4 miles from this house.

Pray forgive me for writing so much about myself and health but I could not avoid doing so without leaving an impression of inhospitality on your mind. If you think it worth while to come, pray inform me of day and hour, that I may endeavor to keep as fresh as I can.

Believe me, dear sir,

Yours very faithfully (etc)

J. T. G. (written about 1912): The discussion of the subject interested Darwin to such a degree that he invited me to dinner in order to continue the interview. He referred me to the German author, Moritz Wagner, who had already discussed the subject of isolation, whose analysis of the subject, however, was evidently so in complete that my statements awakened in Darwin's mind a new interest in the subject. At the close of the interview, he exhorted me not to keep my investigations to myself but to "write, write," he reiterated.

Gulick's next desire was to bring a more adequate account of his studies before the annual meeting of the British Association which was to occur in Brighton that August.

Charles Darwin to J. T. G.:


August 8, 1872


…I know so little about the proceedings of the British Association that I really cannot form any opinion whether

[page] 235

the Section would consider your paper too theoretical. I imagine that they do not decide what papers to read until each day arrives and they can see there is, and how many have been sent in.


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