Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Darwin, Charles Robert

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DARWIN, Charles Robert, English naturalist, b. in Shrewsbury, England, 12 Feb., 1809; d. in Down, Kent, England, 18 April, 1882. He was a grandson of Dr. Erasmus Darwin. Immediately after his graduation at Cambridge in 1831 he volunteered to accompany the ship “Beagle” as naturalist on an exploring expedition around the world, on which he was engaged till 2 Oct., 1836. Leaving the ship at Valparaiso, Darwin crossed the South American continent to Buenos Ayres, discovering on his way the gigantic fossil remains that first brought his name into notice. On his return he settled on a country estate in Kent, where he spent his life in scientific occupations, writing his remarkable works on botany and natural history, and propounding the theory of the origin of species by the natural selection of favorable variations, which soon became celebrated as the Darwinian theory. His writings that relate to this hemisphere include “Journal of Researches during a Voyage Around the World” (1839); “Geological Observations in South America” (1846); and many papers, such as “The Connection of Certain Volcanic Phenomena in South America.” See “Life and Letters of Charles Darwin,” by his son, Francis (2 vols., New York, 1887).