- Events sorted by day of the month:
H.M.S. Beagle arrived at Hobart Town, on the island of Tasmania.
Darwin took several inland trips on the island, studying the
Darwin accepted the position of vice-president of the Entomological
Society, despite Lyell's warning not to let such appointments
get in the way of his research and writing.
A 5th edition of Origin of Species was published.
Charles Robert Darwin was born at The Mount in Shrewsbury,
Shropshire, England. He was named after his uncle (Charles)
who had died a few years back, and his father (Robert).
The Beagle and Adventure were now at Woolya Cove again and
Capt. FitzRoy checked on the missionaries that were left behind.
They found the mission completely abandoned and the gardens
in ruins. A short time later some Fuegians arrived in canoes,
one of which contained Jemmy Button who seemed to have reverted
back to his native state. On this date Darwin turned twenty-five
years old and for his birthday Capt. FitzRoy named the highest
mountain in the region Mt. Darwin.
A massive earthquake hit Valdivia and Darwin was right in
the middle of the action. The devastation was horrible - nearly
every building in the area was destroyed. While the Beagle
tried to make anchorage at Concepcion Darwin was dropped off
at the island of Quiriquina and while exploring around the
island he found areas of land that have risen a few feet due
to the earthquake. He became very excited about this find,
as it was direct evidence that the Andes mountains, and indeed
all of South America, were very slowly rising above the ocean.
This confirmed Charles Lyell's theory that land masses rose
in tiny increments over an extremely long period of time.
Given this fact, Darwin accepted that the idea that the earth
must be extremely old. The next day he went by ship to the
town of Talcuhano, and from there rode by horse to Concepcion
to meet up with the Beagle.
He spent part of his spring break in London where he met with
the famous entomologist, Revd. Frederick Hope. They spent
many days talking about insects, and Hope gave him over one-hundred
new species for his collection.
Darwin's old friend, Charles Lyell, died.
The ship arrived at Salvador, Brazil, in All Saints Bay. Darwin
explored the tropical rain forests on long walks by himself,
taking in the rich glorious spender of nature. In town Darwin
was disgusted at the sight of black slavery. He got into a
big quarrel with Capt. FitzRoy who tried to justify the slave
trade. Darwin gave him a lecture about the ethical problems
of treating humans as property, and Capt. FitzRoy fell into
one of his tempers and forbid Darwin to share his dinner table
with him ever again. After a short cooling off period he apologized
to Darwin and all was back to normal.
some time during this month:
- April 1826
John Edmonstone, a freed black slave from Guyana, South America,
taught Darwin taxidermy. The two of them often sat together
for conversation, and John would fill Darwin's head with vivid
pictures of the tropical rain forests of South America. These
pleasant conversations with John may have later inspired Darwin
to dream about exploring the tropics. In any event, the taxidermy
skills Darwin learned from him were indispensable during his
voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle in 1831.
- April 1882
Darwin experienced random episodes of severe chest pains,
seizures and heart troubles.
Darwin's relationship with Fanny was beginning to diminish.
The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but evidently
Darwin had developed too much of a relationship with entomology
(he had not visited her the previous winter break, having
stayed in Cambridge to hunt beetles), and Fanny was being
pursued by more attentive suitors. Just after he passed his
"little go" exam they broke up.
The first volume of "Zoology" was published ("Zoology
of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, Part I"). This first
in a series of five books covered the fossil mammals collected
during the Beagle voyage.
Darwin was still sick and could only work for a few hours
a day. Due to ill health, he resigned from the Geological
Now fancying himself a "country gentleman/naturalist,"
Darwin started his General Aspects diary in which he described
the natural beauty of the area, describing local plants, animals,
and insects, and making notes on their changes in habits from
season to season.
At long last Darwin was free to discuss his transmutation
theories with a fellow naturalist, and in a short time he
adopted Hooker as a research assistant. Within a matter of
weeks Hooker was combing the libraries and museums of London,
digging up obscure botanical facts and recommending books
for Darwin to read.
Hooker was invited to be a substitute professor of botany
at Edinburgh University for the upcoming spring term. Darwin
had by now become very dependent upon Hooker as an assistant
so this news disheartened him a great deal.
Joseph Dalton Hooker, now back in London from Edinburgh University,
became botanist for the Geological Survey at Charing Cross.
Charles Lyell's book, "Antiquity of Man" was published.
In this book Lyell advocated the ancient origin of mankind,
but never specifically came out in support of evolution. It
was obvious that Lyell was still living in the old scientific
school and was having a difficult time adjusting to the new
school of free-thinking evolutionists.