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Second voyage of HMS Beagle

Main article: HMS Beagle

The second voyage of HMS Beagle from 27 December 1831 to 2 October 1836 was the second survey expedition of HMS Beagle, under captain Robert FitzRoy who had taken over command of the ship on its first voyage after her previous captain committed suicide. FitzRoy, fearing the same fate, sought a gentleman companion for the voyage. The student clergyman Charles Darwin took the opportunity, making his name as a naturalist and becoming a renowned author with the publication of his journal which became known as The Voyage of the Beagle.

The Beagle sailed across the Atlantic Ocean then carried out detailed hydrographic surveys around the coasts of the southern part of South America, returning via Tahiti and Australia having circumnavigated the Earth. While the expedition was originally planned to last two years, it lasted almost five.

  Darwin spent most of this time exploring on land; three years and three months on land, 18 months at sea. His work made his reputation as a geologist and collector of fossils, and his detailed observations of plants and animals provided the basis for ideas which he later developed into his theory of evolution by natural selection.


Aims of the expedition

The main purpose of the expedition was a hydrographic survey of the coasts of the southern part of South America as a continuation of the work of previous surveys, producing charts for naval war or commerce and drawings of the hills as seen from the sea, with height measurements. In particular, the longitude of Rio de Janeiro which formed a setting out point for these surveys was in doubt due to discrepancies in measurements and an exact longitude was to be found, using calibrated chronometers and checking these through repeated astronomical observations. Continuing records of tides and meteorological conditions were also required.

A lesser priority was given to surveying approaches to harbours on the Falkland Islands and, season permitting, the Galápagos Islands. Then the Beagle was to proceed to Tahiti and on to Port Jackson, Australia which were known points to verify the chronometers. An additional requirement was for a geological survey of a circular coral atoll in the Pacific ocean including investigation of its profile and of tidal flows.[1]

Context and preparations

  The previous survey expedition to South America involved HMS Adventure and HMS Beagle under the overall command of the Australian Commander Philip Parker King. During the survey Beagle's captain, Pringle Stokes, committed suicide and his command was taken by the young aristocrat Robert FitzRoy. After their return to Plymouth dockyard on October 14 1830 captain King retired, and on June 25 1831 the 26 year old FitzRoy was appointed commander of a second expedition captaining the Beagle.

It was originally intended that Chanticleer would make the second South American Survey, but due to her poor condition Beagle was substituted for the voyage. FitzRoy had been considering how to return the Fuegians who had trained as missionaries, and on 25 June 1831 he was re-appointed as commander. The Beagle was commissioned on 4 July 1831 under the command of Captain Robert FitzRoy, with Lieutenants John Clements Wickham and Bartholomew James Sulivan.

FitzRoy promptly spared no expense in having the Beagle extensively refitted. The Beagle was immediately taken into dock for extensive rebuilding and refitting. As she required a new deck, FitzRoy had the upper-deck raised considerably, by 8 inches (200 mm) aft and 12 inches (300 mm) forward. The Cherokee class ships had the reputation of being "coffin brigs", which handled badly and were prone to sinking. By helping the decks to drain more quickly with less water collecting in the gunnels, the raised deck gave the Beagle better handling and made her less liable to become top-heavy and capsize. Additional sheathing added to the hull added about 7 tons to her displacement. FitzRoy ensured there were 22 marine chronometers on board, and five examples of the Sympiesometer, a kind of mercury-free barometer patented by Alexander Adie and favoured by FitzRoy as giving the accurate readings required by the Admiralty. He engaged a mathematical instrument maker to maintain the 22 chronometers kept in his cabin, as well as engaging the artist/draughtsman Augustus Earle to go in a private capacity. The three Fuegians taken on the previous voyage were going to be returned to Tierra del Fuego on the Beagle together with the missionary Richard Matthews.[1]

FitzRoy was all too aware of the stress and loneliness of command in that era, and of the suicide of captain Stokes. He feared he might be similarly predisposed as his own uncle Viscount Castlereagh had committed suicide under stress of overwork. This time the Beagle was on her own, and as a young and inexperienced officer he could not be familiar with his subordinates lest it weaken his command.[2] For the first time he was fully in charge with no commanding officer or second captain to consult, and no-one else on board would be of his own social standing and intellectual persuasions. He feared being overwhelmed, and felt the need for a gentleman companion who shared his scientific interests and could dine with him as an equal, maintaining a degree of normal life free from the pressures of the expedition.[3] He approached his friend Harry Chester with the idea of Harry accompanying him, but this came to nothing.[4] It was not unusual for naturalists to be invited on such expeditions as passengers paying their own expenses, and in August 1831 FitzRoy wrote hurriedly to the Admiralty, presumably to his friend and superior Captain Francis Beaufort, asking that an appropriate well-educated and scientific gentleman be sought out for this purpose. Beaufort's enquiries via his friend George Peacock at the University of Cambridge were turned down by the Reverend Leonard Jenyns, vicar of Swaffham Bulbeck, and by Professor John Stevens Henslow, who had other commitments. Both recommended the 22 year old Charles Darwin who had just completed his theology course and was then on a geology field trip.

Consequently, upon his return home, Darwin received letters from Henslow saying "I assure you I think you are the very man they are in search of" for the position "more as a companion than a mere collector", and from Peacock who said the post was at his "absolute disposal". At first Darwin's father rejected the proposal, but was persuaded by his brother in law Josiah Wedgwood II to relent and fund his son's expedition. Then FitzRoy wrote apologising that he had already promised the place to a friend, but when Darwin arrived for interview FitzRoy told him that the friend had just refused the offer, not five minutes before. The Tory FitzRoy was cautious at the prospect of companionship with this unknown young gentleman of Whig background and they spent a week together getting to know each other. Although FitzRoy nearly rejected Darwin on the basis that the shape of Darwin's nose indicated a lack of determination (see physiognomy), they found each other agreeable. Beaufort advised that Darwin's share of costs would be up to £500, he would be free to withdraw at any suitable stage and would have control over which "public body" his own collections went to.

Darwin was then involved in arranging his own equipment and means for preserving specimens, seeking advice from his old mentor Robert Edmund Grant amongst others. The geologist Charles Lyell asked FitzRoy to record observations on geological features such as erratic boulders, and before they left England FitzRoy gave Darwin a copy of the first volume of Lyell's Principles of Geology which explained features as the outcome of a gradual process taking place over extremely long periods of time.[4]


Beagle was originally scheduled to leave on October 24, 1831 but because of delays in her preparations the departure was delayed until December. She attempted to depart on 10 December but ran into bad weather. Finally, on the morning of December 27, the Beagle left its anchorage in the Barn Pool, under Mount Edgecumbe on the west side of Plymouth Sound,[5] on what was to become a groundbreaking scientific expedition. After completing extensive surveys in South America she returned via New Zealand to Falmouth, Cornwall, England on 2 October 1836.

It touched at Madeira for a confirmed position without stopping, then went on to Tenerife but there was quarantine because of cholera in England and they were denied landing. They continued on to make their first stop at the volcanic island of St. Jago in the Cape Verde Islands, and it is here that Darwin's Journal starts. While readings were taken to accurately confirm the longitude, he went on shore being fascinated by his first sight of tropical vegetation and the geology with a high white band of seashells supporting Lyell's thesis of gradual rising and falling of the earth's crust.

Darwin had been given the first volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology by FitzRoy when they set out, the book explaining landforms as the outcome of gradual processes over huge periods of time, and on their first stop ashore at St Jago the features he saw gave him a revolutionary insight into the geological history of the island, inspiring him to think of writing a book on the subject.[6] Darwin later wrote of "seeing a thing never seen by Lyell, one yet saw it partially through his eyes".[7]

After touching at more islands they arrived at Bahia (Salvador), Brazil on February 29 where Darwin was enraptured by the tropical forest. He found the sight of slavery offensive and made the mistake of responding when FitzRoy remarked on it being justifiable, with the result that FitzRoy lost his temper and banned Darwin from his company. The officers had nicknamed their captain "hot coffee" for such outbursts, and within hours FitzRoy apologised and asked Darwin to remain. [8]

The ship made its way down the coast to Rio de Janeiro. Customarily the ship's surgeon took the position of naturalist. Robert McCormick, the Beagle's surgeon, quite reasonably felt he was being supplanted, as the gentleman Darwin received all the invitations from dignitaries onshore, and was sufficiently disgruntled to leave the ship here. Darwin now assumed the quasi-official duties of naturalist, getting nicknamed Philos, though his collections were his own and were shipped back to Henslow in Cambridge to await his return. Several others on board including the new acting-surgeon and FitzRoy made sizeable collections for the Crown, which the Admiralty placed in the British Museum.

Surveying South America

As the Beagle carried out its survey work, going to and fro along the coast, Darwin spent much of the time away from the ship. At intervals the Beagle returned to ports where mail could be received and Darwin's notes, journals and collections were sent back to England. Darwin made long journeys inland, with travelling companions from the locality. In Patagonia he rode inland with gauchos and saw them use bolas to bring down "ostriches" (rheas), and ate roast armadillo.

With the Beagle anchored at Bahia Blanca, Darwin and FitzRoy were sailing about ten miles (16 km) across the bay on 22 September 1832 when they saw fossilised bones of extinct gigantic mammals on the beach at Punta Alta, in strata suggesting quiet tidal deposits rather than a catastrophe.[9] Darwin returned with Covington to excavate over several days, and found a huge skull which seemed to him to be related to the African rhinoceros. At first, he thought that fragments of bony armour came from a gigantic armadillo like the small creatures common in the area. When he used Bory de Saint-Vincent's Dictionnaire classique to identify a jawbone and tooth he found nearby as belonging to the Megatherium he was excited to note that the only specimens in Europe were locked away in the Kings collection at Madrid, but as Cuvier's descriptions of those specimens wrongly suggested the creatures were armoured, this misled Darwin into thinking that the armour belonged to the Megatherium.[10]

At Montevideo in November the mail from home included a copy of the second volume of Lyell's Principles of Geology, which set out a variation of Creationism relating to the idea of gradual change, with species being formed at "centres of creation" then going extinct as the environment changed to their disadvantage.


They reached Tierra del Fuego on 18 December 1832 and Darwin was taken aback at the crude savagery of the natives, in stark contrast to the civilised behaviour of the three Fuegians they were returning as missionaries (who had been given the names York Minster, Fuegia Basket and Jemmy Button). He described his first meeting with the native Fuegians as being "without exception the most curious and interesting spectacle I ever beheld: I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilised man: it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal, inasmuch as in man there is a greater power of improvement." In contrast, he said of Jemmy that "It seems yet wonderful to me, when I think over all his many good qualities, that he should have been of the same race, and doubtless partaken of the same character, with the miserable, degraded savages whom we first met here. (Four decades later, in The Descent of Man he would use his impressions from this period as evidence that man had evolved civilization from a more primitive state.)

At the island of "Buttons Land" on 23 January 1833 they set up a mission post, with huts, gardens, furniture and crockery, but when they returned nine days later the possessions had been looted and divided up equally by the natives. Matthews gave up, rejoining the ship and leaving the three civilised Fuegians to continue the missionary work. The Beagle went on to the Falkland Islands arriving just after the 1833 invasion. Darwin studied the relationships of species to habitats and found ancient fossils like those he'd found in Wales. Fitzroy bought a schooner to assist with the surveying, and they returned to Patagonia where this was fitted with a new copper bottom and renamed Adventure. Darwin was assisted by the young sailor Syms Covington in preserving specimens and his collecting was so successful that with FitzRoy's agreement he took on Covington as a full time servant for £30 a year.

The two ships sailed to the Río Negro in Argentina where Darwin left the Beagle for another journey inland with the gauchos. On 13 August 1833 he met General Juan Manuel de Rosas who was then leading a punitive expedition against native "Indians", and obtained a passport from him. As they crossed the pampas the gauchos told Darwin of a rare smaller species of Rhea. At Bahia Blanca, waiting for the Beagle, he revisited Punta Alta and found bones of another megatherium, this time undisturbed in situ in a context of layers of sediments including modern shells that indicated that the climate had not changed much since their extinction, with no signs of a sudden catastrophic flood. More expeditions inland almost ended disastrously when Darwin fell ill then became entangled in a revolution as rebels allied to Rosas blockaded Buenos Aires, but the passport helped and with Covington he managed to escape in a boatload of refugees. They rejoined the Beagle at Montevideo. As surveys were still in progress Darwin set off on another 400 mile (600 km) "galloping" trip via Mercedes, Buenos Aires near the Uruguay River. On 22 November he was told of "giant's bones" in a farmyard and bought a hippopotamus sized fossil skull for eighteen pence then carried it 120 miles (190 km) back to Montevideo. This would be the first fossil identified by Richard Owen, an extinct giant capybara which Owen named Toxodon.

Back at the Beagle, Darwin was introduced to Conrad Martens, the replacement artist brought on board after Augustus Earle had to leave due to health problems. They sailed south, putting in at Port Desire on 23 December. Here Martens shot a rhea which they enjoyed eating before Darwin realised that this was the smaller species, and preserved the remains. In January 1834, 110 miles (180 km) further south, they reached Port St Julian and exploring the local geology in cliffs near the harbour Darwin found fossils of pieces of spine and a hind leg of "some large animal, I fancy a Mastodon". On 26 January they entered the Straits of Magellan and at St. Gregory's Bay they met half-civilised Patagonian "giants" over 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, described by Darwin as "excellent practical naturalists" who explained to him that the smaller rheas were the only species this far south, while the larger rheas kept to the north, the species meeting around the Rio Negro.

After further surveying in Tierra del Fuego they returned on 5 March 1834 to visit the missionaries, but found the huts deserted. Then canoes approached and they found that one of the savage natives was Jemmy, who had lost his possessions and had settled into the native ways, taking a wife. Darwin had never seen "so complete & grievous a change". Jemmy came on board and dined using his cutlery properly, speaking English as well as ever, then assured them that he "had not the least wish to return to England" and was "happy and contented", leaving them gifts of otter skins and arrowheads before returning to the canoe to join his wife. Of the first visit Darwin had written that "Viewing such men, one can hardly make oneself believe that they are fellow-creatures, and inhabitants of the same world. It is a common subject of conjecture what pleasure in life some of the less gifted animals can enjoy: how much more reasonably the same question may be asked of these barbarians.", yet one of these savages had readily adapted to civilisation and then chosen to return to his primitive ways. This did not sit comfortably with the Cambridge don's view of mankind as the highest creation, immeasurably superior to the animals.

They returned to the Falkland Islands on 16 March just after an uprising of gauchos and Indians had butchered British nationals, and helped to put the revolt down. Darwin received word from Henslow that his specimens had reached Cambridge, with the South American fossils being fabulously prized and displayed before the cream of British science, making Darwin's reputation. The Beagle now sailed to southern Patagonia, and on 19 April an expedition including FitzRoy and Darwin set off to take boats as far as possible up the river Rio Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina from Puerto Santa Cruz, with all involved taking turn in teams dragging the boats upstream. The river cut through a series of rises then plateaux forming wide plains covered with shells and shingle, and Darwin discussed with FitzRoy his interpretation that these terraces had been shores that had gradually raised in accordance with Lyell's theories. They approached the Andes but had to turn back.

West coast of South America

The Beagle and Adventure now surveyed the Straits of Magellan before sailing north round up the west coast, reaching the island of Chiloé in the wet and heavily wooded Chonos Archipelago on 28 June 1834. They then spent the next six months surveying the coast and islands southwards. At Valparaiso on 23 July 1834. Darwin bought horses and set off up the volcanic Andes, but on his way back down fell ill and spent a month in bed. It is possible that he contracted Chagas' disease here, leading to Charles Darwin's illness after his return, but this diagnosis of his symptoms is disputed.

He learnt that the Admiralty had reprimanded FitzRoy for buying the Adventure. FitzRoy had taken it badly, selling the ship and announcing they would go back to recheck his survey, then had resigned his command doubting his sanity, but was persuaded by his officers to withdraw his resignation and proceed. The artist Conrad Martens left the ship and took passage to Australia.

After waiting for Darwin the Beagle sailed on 11 November to survey the Chonos Archipelago. From here they saw the eruption of the volcano Osorno in the Andes. They then sailed north arriving at the port of Valdivia on 20 February 1835. Darwin was on shore when he experienced an earthquake, and returned to find the port town badly damaged. Two hundred miles (320 km) north at Concepción, Chile, they found the city devastated by repeated shocks and a tidal wave, with even the cathedral in ruins. Turning away from the horrors of death and destruction, Darwin noticed that mussel beds now lay above high tide with the shellfish dead. There was clear evidence of the ground rising some 9 ft (2.7 m), and he had actually experienced the gradual process of the continent emerging from the ocean as Lyell had indicated.

Back in Valparaiso, Darwin set out on another trek up the Andes and on 21 March reached the continental divide at 13,000 ft (4,000 m): even here he found fossil seashells in the rocks. After going on to Mendoza they were returning by a different pass when they found a petrified forest of fossilised trees, crystallised in a sandstone escarpment showing him that they had been on an Pacific beach when the land sank, burying them in sand which had been compressed into rock, then had gradually been raised with the continent to stand at 7,000 ft (2,100 m) in the mountains. On returning to Valparaiso with half a mule's load of specimens he wrote to his father that his findings, if accepted, would be crucial to the theory of the formation of the world. After another gruelling expedition in the Andes while the Beagle was refitted he rejoined it and sailed to Lima, but found an armed insurrection in progress and had to stay with the ship. Here he was writing up his notes when he realised that Lyell's idea that coral atolls were on the rims of rising extinct volcanoes made less sense than the volcanoes gradually sinking so that the coral reefs around the island kept building themselves close to sea level and became an atoll as the volcano disappeared below. This was a theory he would examine when they reached such islands.

Galápagos Islands

A week out of Lima, they reached the Galápagos Islands on 15 September 1835. On Chatham Island Darwin found broken black rocky volcanic lava scorching under the hot sun with volcanic craters which reminded him of the iron foundries of industrial Staffordshire. He noted widespread thin scrub thickets of only ten species, and very few insects. The impressive giant tortoises to his fancy appeared antediluvian, though apparently he thought at the time that these had been brought to the islands by buccaneers for food.

At the prison colony on Charles Island he was told that tortoises differed from island to island, but this was not obvious on the islands he visited and he did not bother with collecting their shells. The Marine Iguanas seemed hideously ugly, and due to mislabelling in the museum he thought these unique creatures were a South American species. The birds were remarkably unafraid of humans, and of unique kinds with some resemblance to South American species. He noticed that mockingbirds differed with islands and took care with labelling them, but did not bother to note where other species such as finches had been found. Fortunately others were being more methodical in labelling their collections. They left on 20 October.

Tahiti to Australia

They sailed on, dining on Galapagos tortoises, and on 9 November sighted the Low Islands which at first appeared uninteresting to Darwin, just white beaches and palm trees. On Tahiti he soon found interest in luxuriant vegetation and the pleasant intelligent natives who showed the benefits of Christianity, refuting allegations he had read about tyrannical missionaries overturning indigenous cultures.

On 19 December they reached New Zealand where Darwin thought the tattooed Māori to be savages with character of a much lower order than the Tahitians, and noted that they and their homes were "filthily dirty and offensive". He saw missionaries bringing improvement in character as well as new farming practices with an exemplary "English farm" employing natives. Richard Matthews was left here with his elder brother Joseph Matthews who was a missionary at Kaitaia. Darwin and FitzRoy were agreed that missionaries had been unfairly misrepresented in tracts, particularly one written by the artist Augustus Earle which he had left on the ship. Darwin also noted many English residents of the most worthless character, including runaway convicts from New South Wales. By 30 December he was glad to leave New Zealand.

The first sight of Australia on 12 January 1836 reminded him of Patagonia, but inland the country improved and he was soon filled with admiration at the bustling city of Sydney. On a journey into the interior he came across a group of cheery aborigines who gave him a display of spear throwing for a shilling, contradicting their usual depiction as "degraded creatures", and he reflected sadly on how their numbers were rapidly decreasing. At a large sheep farm he joined a hunting party and caught his first marsupial, a "potoroo" (rat-kangaroo), making him think that an unbeliever "might exclaim 'Surely two distinct Creators must have been [at] work'." He was then shown the even stranger platypus and was surprised to find that its bill was soft, unlike in preserved specimens, and heard that many colonists believed them to lay eggs like a reptile, a point then the subject of scientific controversy in Britain. Still in Australia, the Beagle visited Hobart, Van Diemens Land, then sailed to King George's Sound in south west Australia, a dismal settlement then being replaced by the Swan River Colony. Here Darwin attended an aboriginal dance, a "most rude barbarous scene" "all moving in hideous harmony" though he liked these "good humoured" aborigines "in such high spirits". The Beagle's departure in a storm was delayed when she ran aground. She was refloated and got on her way.

Keeling Island homewards

On their arrival at Keeling Island in the Indian Ocean on 1 April Darwin found a coconut economy, serving both the inhabitants and the wildlife. They investigated the coral lagoons, and FitzRoy's survey soundings revealed a profile consistent with the theory of atolls that Darwin had developed in Lima. Once again Darwin was a martyr to seasickness on the voyage to Mauritius, where he was impressed by the civilisation of the French colony and toured the island, partly on an elephant.

The Beagle reached the Cape of Good Hope on 31 May. In Cape Town Darwin received correspondence from his sister telling him that ten of his letters on South American geology had been edited by Henslow and printed for private distribution, establishing his reputation. After a week there Darwin and FitzRoy visited the noted astronomer Sir John Herschel who was making observations as well as taking a keen interest in geology, corresponding with Lyell on the formation of continents and on the mystery of how new species of life-forms arrived, subjects he may have discussed with them over dinner. In Cape Town, FitzRoy was requested to contribute a piece to the South African Christian Recorder and after they had set to sea on 18 June he wrote an open letter on the Moral State of Tahiti incorporating extracts from Darwin's diary and defending the reputation of missionaries. This was given to a passing ship which took it to Cape Town to become FitzRoy's (and Darwin's) first published work.

At some stage when organising his notes between then and August, Darwin wrote in his Ornithological Notes about the Galapagos mockingbird Mimus thenca that:

The specimens from Chatham & Albemarle Isd appear to be the same; but the other two are different. In each Isld each kind is exclusively found: habits of all are indistinguishable. When I recollect the fact that [from] the form of the body, shape of scales & general size, the Spaniards can at once pronounce from which Island any Tortoise may have been brought. When I see these Islands in sight of each other, & possessed of but a scanty stock of animals, tenanted by these birds but slightly differing in structure & filling the same place in Nature, I must suspect they are only varieties. The only fact of a similar kind of which I am aware is the constant asserted difference between the wolf-like Fox of East & West Falkland Islds. If there is the slightest foundation for these remarks the zoology of Archipelagoes will be well worth examining; for such facts (would) undermine the stability of Species.

The term "would" before "undermine" had been a cautious addition after writing what is now noted as the first expression of his doubts about species being immutable, which led to him being convinced about the transmutation of species and hence evolution. Though his suspicions about the Falkland Island Fox may have been unsupported, the differences in Galápagos tortoises between islands were remembered, and on his return John Gould informed Darwin that the mockingbirds were not just varieties, but distinct species. The idea that varieties are actually incipient species was to be crucial for Darwin's evolutionary ideas.[11]

On 8 July they stopped at St. Helena for six days, and here Darwin noted the prevalence of imported English plants. He examined a band of fossil shells at 2,000 ft (600 m) which had been assumed to indicate that St. Helena had risen from the ocean in recent times, but Darwin was able to disprove this by identifying them as ancient land shells of an extinct species.

The Beagle reached Ascension Island on 19 July, and Darwin saw the red volcanic cones of this "cinder" in the ocean. On 23 July they set off again with most of the crew hoping to reach home soon, but FitzRoy wanted to ensure the accuracy of his longitude measurements and so took the ship across the Atlantic back to Bahia in Brazil to take check readings. Darwin took this opportunity to revisit the jungle for five days, but the return trip was delayed for a further 11 days when weather forced the Beagle to shelter further up the coast. The Beagle departed for home on 17 August, and after a stormy passage including a stop for supplies at the Azores, the Beagle finally reached Falmouth, Cornwall, England on 2 October 1836.


  Upon his return, Darwin was quick to take the coach home, arriving late at night on 4 October 1836 at The Mount House, the family home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Darwin reportedly headed straight to bed and greeted his family at breakfast. After ten days of catching up with family he went on to Cambridge and sought Henslow's advice on organising the description and cataloguing of his collections.

Darwin's father gave him an allowance that enabled him to put aside other careers, and as a scientific celebrity with a reputation established by his fossils and Henslow's publication of his letters on South American geology, he toured London's society institutions. By this time he was part of the "scientific establishment", collaborating with expert naturalists to describe his specimens, and working on ideas he had been developing during the voyage. Charles Lyell gave him enthusiastic backing. In December 1836, Darwin presented a talk to the Cambridge Philosophical Society. He wrote a paper proving that Chile, and the South American continent, was slowly rising, which he read to the Geological Society of London on 4 January 1837.

Syms Covington stayed with Darwin as his servant until shortly after Darwin's marriage in January 1837, when he parted on good terms and migrated to Australia.


  1. ^ a b Admiralty Instructions for the Beagle Voyage from Vol. 2 of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, included as Appendix One of – Darwin, Charles (1989). Voyage of the Beagle. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-043268-X. 
  2. ^ Desmond, Adrian; Moore, James (1991). Darwin. London: Michael Joseph, the Penguin Group. ISBN 0-7181-3430-3. 
  3. ^ Browne, Janet (7 Aug 2003). Charles Darwin: Voyaging. Pimlico. ISBN 1-84413-314-1. 
  4. ^ a b Introduction by Janet Browne and Michael Neve to – Darwin, Charles (1989). Voyage of the Beagle. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-043268-X. 
  5. ^ FitzRoy 1839, p. 42.
  6. ^ Browne 1995, pp. 183-190
  7. ^ Letter to L. Horner, Down, 29 August 1844
  8. ^ The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, Gutenberg online reader
  9. ^ "Wonderful, beautiful": an introduction to Beagle field notebook 1.10
  10. ^ Browne 1995, p. 124
       Darwin 1835, p. 7
       Desmond & Moore 1991, p. 210
       Darwin 2001, p. 106
       Eldredge 2006
  11. ^ Keynes 2000
       Eldredge 2006


  • Browne, E. Janet (1995), , London: Jonathan Cape, ISBN 1-84413-314-1
  • Darwin, Charles (1839), , vol. III, London: Henry Colburn, .
  • Darwin, Charles (1845), (Second ed.), London: John Murray, Retrieved on 2007-04-27
  • Darwin, Charles, Keynes, Richard Darwin, ed., , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, . Retrieved on 2007-04-27
  • Desmond, Adrian; Moore, James (1991). Darwin. London: Michael Joseph, the Penguin Group. ISBN 0-7181-3430-3. 
  • Eldredge, Niles (2006), " ", The Virginia Quarterly Review (no. Spring 2006): 32-53, Retrieved on 2007-04-27
  • FitzRoy, Robert (1839), , London: Henry Colburn, .
  • Keynes, Richard (ed.) (2000), , , Cambridge University Press Retrieved on 2006-12-15
  • Parker King, Philip (1839), FitzRoy, Robert, ed., , vol. I, London: Henry Colburn, .

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Second_voyage_of_HMS_Beagle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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