July 3rd. 1881
Dear Sir

I thank you sincerely for your very kind and interesting letter of June 13th. Absence from my home has caused me to delay in answering it.

I consider it a fortunate event for science, that a man like yourself, who is not content merely to collect and describe species belonging to various neglected groups (though this is good and valuable work), but looks to philosophical questions, should inhabit a group of oceanic islands. You have a splendid field for observation, and I do not doubt that your researches will be very valuable. I am too old to make any direct use of your observations, but this does not lessen my interest in them. It is no small satisfaction and reward to me to hear that my books have in part stimulated you in your scientific work.

The case of the vitrina is very curious: I remember reading that some Crustaceans on the shores of the U. [United] States have been observed in a nearly similar condition.

You ask me for suggestions, but I doubt whether I can send any which will not have occurred to you; but I will write down a few points, which if I were to reside for some years on your delightful islands, I should attend to.

(1) If possible I would visit and collect on one or more of the most distant outlying islands and compare their plants and animals with those of the other islands. Indeed, after the case of the Galapagos Arch.[Archipelago], alls the productions of all the islands ought to be carefully compared.

(2) All the plants and animals from the highest mountain summits on all the islands ought to be collected.

(3) It has been stated that on the N. [North] shore of some of the N. [North] islands, glacial deposits have been seen, -i. e. [id est] irregular beds with large, angular or rounded, perhaps scored stones, not of a vulcanic nature.

The size, shape, nature, and presence of fossil remains, in such stones should be carefully noted. This would be a most interesting subject for investigation, especially in relation to G. [Geographical] Distribution. It has, also been related (but I suppose erroneously) that a tooth of a Mastodon was formerly found in a small Tertiary formation on one of the islands.

Do you know Wallace's works on Geographical Distribution?1 This would be worth your procuring.

(4) Is there any light-house at the Azores: if so, land-birds would probably sometime fly against the glass and be killed. In this case it would be advisable to examine not only their feet and beaks for earth, but to dry the whole contents of their alimentary canaIs and place such contents on damp pure sand under a small bell-glass and see if any seeds were present which would germinate. If so to grow the plant and name it.

(5) Are trees with roots ever blown on shore? If so the roots should be split, and any earth between them, should be washed and placed on damp burnt earth or pure sand under a bell-glass, to see if such earth included any living seeds.

(6) After a heavy gale of wind in the direction of the prevailing currents it would perhaps be worth while to look through the rubbish cast up on the shore for seeds, insects, etc.

(7) I suppose that Lacerta inhabits the Azores, and if you could obtain their eggs, it would be worth while to try whether they will float in sea-water and whether they will survive for 7 or 14 days immersion. The wide distribution of lizards, land-mollusca and earth-worms is a most perplexing problem.

I fear that these suggestions will be of no use. - You have my hearty good wishes in your work. I honour you for working under the most difficult circumstances, namely with little sympathy from your neighbours.

Believe me Dear Sir, yours faithfully Charles Darwin

P.s. July 6 - I have just retumed home and have found there the essays which you have been so kind as to send me and which I shall be very glad to read.

Nota -Carta escrita em papel com o timbre: Down, Beckenham, Kent -Railway Station Orpincton. S. E. R. [South-east Railway].

1- Wallace, A. R., The geographical distribution of animais with a study of the relations of living and extinct faunes as elucidating the past changes of the earth's surface, London, MacMillan & Co., 1876.

Ile St. Michel (Açores) [Ie] 29 juillet 1881

M. Charles Darwin

II est inutile de vous dire les sentiments de joie, de reconnaissance, et d'encouragement que votre Iettre très bienveillante a éveillé en moi. Vous, Monsieur, bien rnieux que personne vous comprenez ce qu'il y a dans I'esprit d'un jeune homme qui débute sous Ia protection pleine de bonté des Prêtres de Ia Science.

Votre lettre, Monsieur, est pour moi de Ia plus grande valeur. Les instructions que vous avez bien voulu me donner, je Ies savais pour Ia plupart, il est vrai; mais c'est à votre livre que je devais Ieur connaissance et vous savez bien ce qu'il sera pour moi de Ies avoir réunies et écrites de votre main.

II est un peu difficile de visiter Ies autres iles; mais j'ai déjà pensé à me procurer des collecteurs.

Je savais qu'à Terceira et à Santa Maria il y avait des vestiges de Ia période glaciaire. Je possède quelques fossiles de S. [Santa] Maria et me procurerai des fragments des blocs erratiques que M. Hartung a signalé à Terceira et que vous avez observé aussi, je crois, dans votre voyage sur Ie Beagle.

Je n'ai jamais entendu parler de Ia dent du mastodonte.

Nous avons à S. Michel deux phares, un à Ponta Delgada et un outre à Nordeste, sur Ia pointe NE de l'île. Sur ce point de votre Iettre, j'ai eu à apprendre un moyen excellent d'investigation que je ne connaissais pas, de même que au sujet des Lacertae: je n'avais pas encore pensé, je dois Ie dire, à ce qu'elles étaient ovipares, quoique je connaissais bien vos considérations à I' égard des mollusques terrestres.

Les transports d'arbres avec Ieurs racines je les crois nuls, ou au moins très rares. Au rnilieu des fucus on trouve parfois des graines de 3 on 4 espèces de plantes entrainées par Ie gulf-stream (?), et bien connues de nos pêcheurs qui Ies emploient comme omement de table et en vidant Ies plus grosses (qu'ils appellent fava do mar) pour / [55] en faire des tabatières. Bientôt je prendrai Ia liberté de vous offrir quelques exemplaires de ces graines et les documents de mon étude Indagações1.

Après votre bienveillante lettre, Monsieur, mes études, quoique sur la même bonne voie de la saine orientation darwiniste, dont il m'a été donné heureusement de bien comprendre les effets, ont été vivement portées vers des aspirations nouvelles, et je vois bon nombre de faits que je ne voyais pas; daignez agréer, très honoré Monsieur, l'expression de mon humble et profonde reconnaissance.

Arruda Furtado

1- Indagações sobre a complicação das maxilas de alguns hélices naturalizados nos Açores com respeito às das mesmas espécies observadas por Moquin-Tandon em França, A Era Nova, 3: 135-147, 1880.