FEBRUARY - Events sorted by day of the month:

February 05 1836
H.M.S. Beagle arrived at Hobart Town, on the island of Tasmania. Darwin took several inland trips on the island, studying the local geology.

February 05 1838
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.

February 10 1869
A 5th edition of Origin of Species was published.

February 12 1809
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).

February 12 1834
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.

February 20 1835
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.

February 21 1829
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.

February 22 1875
Darwin's old friend, Charles Lyell, died.

February 28 1832
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.

Events some time during this month:

February - 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.

February - April 1882
Darwin experienced random episodes of severe chest pains, seizures and heart troubles.

February 1830
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.

February 1838
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.

February 1841
Darwin was still sick and could only work for a few hours a day. Due to ill health, he resigned from the Geological Society.

February 1843
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.

February 1844
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.

February 1845
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.

February 1846
Joseph Dalton Hooker, now back in London from Edinburgh University, became botanist for the Geological Survey at Charing Cross.

February 1863
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.