Second voyage of HMS Beagle

Second voyage of 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.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 – cite book
last = Darwin
first = Charles
title = Voyage of the Beagle
publisher = Penguin Books
year = 1989
location = London
id = ISBN 0-14-043268-X

Context and preparations

The previous survey expedition to South America involved HMS "Adventure" and HMS "Beagle" under the overall command of the Australian Commander Phillip 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 14 October 1830 captain King retired, and on 25 June 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.

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. [harvnb|Desmond|Moore|1991|p=104] 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. [harvnb|Browne|2003|pp=108–109] He approached his friend Harry Chester with the idea of Harry accompanying him, but this came to nothing.Introduction by Janet Browne and Michael Neve to – cite book
last = Darwin
first = Charles
title = Voyage of the Beagle
publisher = Penguin Books
year = 1989
location = London
id = ISBN 0-14-043268-X
] 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.


"Beagle" was originally scheduled to leave on 24 October, 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 27 December, the "Beagle" left its anchorage in the Barn Pool, under Mount Edgecumbe on the west side of Plymouth Sound and set out on its surveying expedition. [harvnb|FitzRoy|1839|p= [ 42] .]

It touched at Madeira for a confirmed position without stopping, then on 6 January reached Tenerife, but there was quarantined because of cholera in England. Although tantalisingly near to the town of Santa Cruz they were denied landing, to Darwin's intense disappointment. They sailed on in improving weather conditions, and on 10 January Darwin tried out a plankton net he had devised to be towed behind the ship, only the second recorded use of a plankton net. Next day, he moted the great number of animals collected far from land and wrote "Many of these creatures so low in the scale of nature are most exquisite in their forms & rich colours. — It creates a feeling of wonder that so much beauty should be apparently created for such little purpose." [Harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 19-22] ]

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 and was fascinated by his first sight of tropical vegetation and by the volcanic island's geology. He made careful studies of stratigraphy in the way he had learnt from Adam Sedgwick, and speculated about how the strata had been formed. [harvnb|Herbert|1991|pp= [ 164–170] .] Rather than explaining features as the outcomes of local floods, he applied the ideas in Charles Lyell's "Principles of Geology", understanding landforms as the outcome of gradual processes over huge periods of time, to form his own revolutionary insight into the geological history of the island. He saw a prominent white band of a hard white rock formed from crushed coral and seashells high up on the black lava cliffs, and interpreted this in terms of Lyell's thesis of gradual rising and falling of the earth's crust. This inspired him to think of writing a book on the subject. [Harvnb|Browne|1995|pp=183–190] Darwin later wrote of "seeing a thing never seen by Lyell, one yet saw it partially through his eyes". [ [ Letter to L. Horner] , Down, 29 August 1844]

Customarily the ship's surgeon took the position of naturalist, and the Beagle's surgeon Robert McCormick sought fame and fortune as an explorer. He and Darwin explored St. Jago together amicably enough, but Darwin privately thought the surgeon an ass whose old-fashioned approach predated Lyell's concepts, while McCormick increasingly resented the favours FitzRoy gave to help Darwin's collecting. Half way to Brazil, FitzRoy landed a small party including himself and Darwin on St. Paul's rocks, finding the seabirds so tame that they could be killed easily, while an exasperated McCormick was left circling the islets in a second small boat. [harvnb|Browne|1995|pp=202–204]

Darwin had a special position as guest and social equal of the captain, so junior officers called him "sir" until the captain dubbed Darwin "Philos" for "ship's philosopher", and this became his suitably respectful nickname. [harvnb|Browne|1995|p=195]

urveying South America

The "Beagle" now carried out its survey work, going to and fro along the coast to allow careful measurement and rechecking. The captain was involved in painstaking paperwork, and Darwin learnt from FitzRoy the importance of keeping a daily log and detailed notebooks of his finds and speculations, as well as a diary which became his journal.

Darwin spent much of the time away from the ship, returning by prearrangement when the "Beagle" returned to ports where mail could be received and Darwin's notes, journals and collections were sent back to England. He had ensured that his collections were his own and they were shipped back to Henslow in Cambridge to await his return. Several others on board including FitzRoy and other officers were able amateur naturalists, and they gave Darwin generous assistance as well as making made collections for the Crown, which the Admiralty placed in the British Museum.

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.

Tropical paradise and slavery

On 28 February they reached the continent, arriving at the magnificent sight of the town Salvador (Bahia), Brazil, with large ships a harbour scattered across the bay. On the next day, Darwin was in "transports of pleasure" walking by himself in the tropical forest. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 41–42] .]

He found the sights of slavery offensive and when FitzRoy defended the practice by describing a visit to a slaveowner whose slaves replied "no" on being asked by their master if they wished to be freed, Darwin suggested that answers in such circumstances were worthless. Enraged that his word had been questioned, 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. [harvnb|Darwin|1958|pp= [ 73–74] .]

Survey work around the harbour was completed on 18 March, and the ship made its way down the coast to survey the Abrolhos islands, then on to Rio de Janeiro where Darwin took in the sights of the city then made an expedition into the interior. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 48–50] .] By then Robert McCormick felt "very much disappointed in my expectations of carrying out my natural history pursuits, every obstacle having been placed in the way of my getting on shore and making collections" while the gentleman Darwin received all the invitations from dignitaries onshore and was given facilities to pack his collections. With permission from the admiral in command, McCormick left the ship and returned to England. [harvnb|Browne|1995|p=210]

Fossil finds

With the "Beagle" anchored at Bahia Blanca, Darwin and FitzRoy went for "a very pleasant cruize about the bay" on 22 September 1832, and about ten miles (16 km) from the ship they stopped for a while at Punta Alta. In low cliffs near the point [Now under Puerto Belgrano naval base, see Keynes 2001 p. 109.] Darwin found conglomerate rocks containing numerous shells and fossilised teeth and bones of gigantic extinct mammals, [harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 106] .] in strata near an earth layer with shells and armadillo fossils, suggesting to him quiet tidal deposits rather than a catastrophe. [ 'Cinnamon and port wine': an introduction to the "Rio Notebook"] , Bahia Blanca, September—October 1832.] With assistance (possibly including the young sailor Syms Covington acting as his servantcite web |url= |title=The Journal of Syms Covington - Chapter Three |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= |accessdate=2008-07-29] ) Darwin collected numerous fossils over several days.harvnb|Darwin|1846|p= [ 84] .]

Much of the second day was taken up with excavating a large skull which Darwin found embedded in soft rock, and seemed to him to be allied to the rhinoceros. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 107] .] On 8 October he returned to the site, and found a jawbone and tooth which he was able to identify using Bory de Saint-Vincent's "Dictionnaire classique". He wrote home describing this and the large skull as "Megatherium" fossils, or perhaps "Megalonyx", and excitedly noted that the only specimens in Europe were locked away in the King's collection at Madrid.Harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 109] ] cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 188 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, C. S., 24 Oct & 24 Nov (1832) ] In the same layer he found a large surface of polygonal plates of bony armour. His immediate thought was that this came from an enormous armadillo like the small creatures common in the area, but from Cuvier's misleading description of the Madrid specimen and a recent newspaper report about a fossil found by Woodbine Parish, Darwin thought that the bony armour identified the fossil as the "Megatherium".cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 192 — Darwin, C. R. to Henslow, J. S., (26 Oct–) 24 Nov 1832 ] [Harvnb|Browne|1995|pp=223—224
Harvnb|Darwin|1835|p= [ 7]
Harvnb|Desmond & Moore|1991|Ref=CITEREFDesmondMoore1991|p= 210
] With FitzRoy, Darwin went about 30 miles (48 km) across the bay to Monte Hermoso on 19 October, and found numerous fossils of smaller rodents in contrast to the huge Edentatal mammals of Punta Alta. [Harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 110] ] harvnb|Darwin|1846|p= [ 81] .] In November at Buenos Aires he "purchased fragments of some enormous bones" which he "was assured belonged to the former giants!!",harvnb|Barlow|1967|p= [ 64] .] and subsequently took any chance to get fossils "by gold or galloping".harvnb|Barlow|1967|p= [ 92] .]

At Montevideo in November the mail from home included a copy of the second volume of Lyell's "Principles of Geology", accommodating his ideas of gradual change with a kind of progressive creationism in which species had been formed at "centres of creation" then had gone extinct as the environment changed to their disadvantage, or as the time for the species ran out.

Tierra del Fuego

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 methere. (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 British return. 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 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.

Gauchos, Rheas, fossils and geology

The two ships sailed to the Río Negro in Argentina and on 8 August 1833 Darwin left on another journey inland with the gauchos. On 12 August 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 and indians told Darwin of a rare smaller species of Rhea. After three days at Bahia Blanca he grew tired of waiting for the "Beagle" and on 21 August revisited Punta Alta where he reviewed the geology of the site in light of his new knowledge, wondering if the bones were older than the seashells. He was very successful with searching for bones, and on 1 September found a near complete skeleton with its bones still in position.harvnb|Barlow|1945|pp= [ 193–196] .] cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 215 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, C. S., 20 Sept (1833) ]

He set off again and on 1 October searching the cliffs of the Carcarañá River found "an enormous gnawing tooth" then in a cliff of the Paraná River saw "two great groups of immense bones" which were too soft to collect but a tooth fragment identified them as Mastodons. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 193] .] cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 229 — Darwin, C. R. to Henslow, J. S., 12 Nov 1833] Illness delayed him at Santa Fe, and after seeing the fossilised casing of a huge armadillo embedded in rock, he was puzzled to find a horse tooth in the same rock layer, since horses had been introduced to the continent with European migration.cite web |url= |title='Filled with astonishment': an introduction to the St. Fe Notebook |publisher=Darwin Online ] [harvnb|Barlow|1945|p= [ 210] .] They took a riverboat down the Paraná River to Buenos Aires but became entangled in a revolution as rebels allied to Rosas blockaded the city. The passport helped and with Covington he managed to escape in a boatload of refugees. They rejoined the "Beagle" at Montevideo. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 195–198] .]

As surveys were still in progress Darwin set off on another 400 mile (600 km) "galloping" trip in Banda Oriental to see the Uruguay River and visit the Estancia of Mr Keen near Mercèdes on the Río Negro. On 25 November he "heard of some giants bones, which as usual turned out to be those of the Megatherium" but could only extract a few broken fragments, then on the next day visited a nearby house and bought for about two shillings "a head of a Megatherium which must have been when found quite perfect", though the teeth had since been broken and the lower jaw had been lost. Mr Keen arranged to ship the skull down river to Buenos Ayres. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 203–204] .] cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 238 — Darwin, C. R. to Henslow, J. S., Mar 1834 ] cite web |url= |title='A man who has seen half the world': Introduction to the Banda Oriental Notebook ] At Las Pietras a clergyman let him see fossils including a club-like tail which he sketched and called an "extraordinary weapon".'Banda Oriental S. Cruz.' Beagle field notebook. EH1.9, [ p. 36] , a typical Glyptodont tail.] His notes included a page showing his realisation that the cliff banks of the rivers exposed two strata formed in an estuary interrupted by an undersea stratum, indicating that the land had risen and fallen.'Banda Oriental S. Cruz.' Beagle field notebook. EH1.9, [ p. 37] ]

Back at Montevideo, Darwin was introduced to Conrad Martens, the replacement artist brought on board the "Beagle" 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". [harvnb|Barlow|1967|p= [ 84] .] 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". One told 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. [harvnb|Barlow|1963|p= [ 272] .]

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.

About this time Darwin wrote "Reflection on reading my Geological notes", the first of a series of essays included in his notes. He speculated on possible causes of the land repeatedly being raised, and on a history of life in Patagonia as a sequence of named species. [harvnb|Herbert|1995|p= [ 23] .]

They returned to the Falkland Islands on 16 March just after an incident where gauchos and Indians had butchered senior members of Vernet's settlement, and helped to put the revolt down. Darwin received word from Henslow that his first dispatch of specimens had reached Cambridge, with the South American fossils being prized by the expert William Clift as showing hitherto unknown species and features of the Megatherium, and displayed by William Buckland and Clift before the cream of British science, making Darwin's reputation.cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 213 — Henslow, J. S. to Darwin, C. R., 31 Aug 1833 ] 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 Santa Cruz river, 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.

Darwin summarised his speculation in his essay on the "Elevation of Patagonia". Though tentative, it challenged Lyell's ideas. Darwin drew on measurements by the "Beagle"'s officers as well as his own measurements to propose that the plains had been raised in successive stages by forces acting over a wide area, rather than smaller scale actions in a continuous movement. However, he supported Lyell in finding evidence to dismiss a sudden deluge when normal processes were suddenly speeded. Seashells he had found far inland still showing their colour suggested to him that the process had been relatively recent, and could have affected human history.harvnb|Herbert|1991|pp= [ 174–179] .]

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 sailed north, and Darwin wondered about the fossils he had found. The giant Mastodons and Megatheriums were extinct, but he had found no geological signs of a "diluvial debacle" or of the changed circumstances that, in Lyell's view, led to species no longer being adapted to the position they were created to fit. He agreed with Lyell's idea of "the gradual birth & death of species" but, unlike Lyell, Darwin was willing to believe Giovanni Battista Brocchi's idea that extinct species had somehow aged and died out.cite web |url= |title=The position of the bones of Mastodon (?) at Port St Julian is of interest |author=Charles Darwin |authorlink=Charles Darwin |month=February | year=1835 ] cite web |url= |title=Darwin Online: 'Hurrah Chiloe': an introduction to the Port Desire Notebook |format= |work= |accessdate=]

They arrived at the port of Valdivia on 8 February 1835, then twelve days later Darwin was on shore when he experienced a severe earthquake and returned to find the port town badly damaged. They sailed two hundred miles (320 km) north to Concepción, Chile, and arrived on 4 March to find that the same earthquake had devastated the city by repeated shocks and a tidal wave, with even the cathedral in ruins. Darwin noted the horrors of death and destruction, and FitzRoy carefully established that mussel beds were now above high tide, giving clear evidence of the ground rising some 9 ft (2.7 m) which he confirmed a month later. They had actually experienced the gradual process of the continent emerging from the ocean as Lyell had indicated. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 292–303] .] [harvnb|Desmond|Moore|1991|pp=158–162]

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. He felt the glorious view "was like watching a thunderstorm, or hearing in the full Orchestra a Chorus of the Messiah." [harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= 308–309] .] 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. [harvnb|Herbert|1991|pp= [ 187–190] .]

Galápagos Islands

A week out of Lima, the Beagle reached the Galápagos Islands on 15 September 1835. At Chatham Island, Captain FitzRoy dropped anchor at a location near the site of the modern town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. While the Beagle was methodically moved round to chart the island, Darwin took every opportunity to go ashore and 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. He first saw marine iguanas after a stop in Stephen's Bay near present-day Puerto Grande. They seemed hideously ugly, and due to mislabelling in the museum he thought these unique creatures were a South American species.

The Beagle then visited Charles Island, where the crew was greeted by the Acting Governor of Galápagos, Nicolas Lawson. At the prison colony, Darwin was told that tortoises differed in the shape of the shells from island to island, but this was not obvious on the islands he visited and he did not bother with collecting their shells. He industriously collected all the animals, plants, insects & reptiles, and speculated about finding "from future comparison to what district or 'centre of creation' the organized beings of this archipelago must be attached."Harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ 356] .] At this stage his thoughts reflected Lyell's rejection of transmutation of species.

The Beagle rounded the southern edge of Isabela Island, and then Darwin with the surgeon Bynoe and their servants were put ashore for nine days at the Santiago Island, while the Beagle returned to Chatham Island to renew the water supply.

The birds of the islands were remarkably unafraid of humans, and of unique kinds with some resemblance to South American species. He noticed that mockingbirds differed from one island to another, 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.

On 20 October 1835, the Beagle set sail for Tahiti.

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 aborigines who looked "good-humoured & pleasant & they appeared far from such utterly degraded beings as usually represented". They gave him a display of spear throwing for a shilling, and he reflected sadly on how their numbers were rapidly decreasing. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 398–399] .] At a large sheep farm he joined a hunting party and caught his first marsupial, a "potoroo" (rat-kangaroo). Reflecting on the strange animals of the country, he thought that an unbeliever "might exclaim 'Surely two distinct Creators must have been [at] work; their object however has been the same & certainly the end in each case is complete'," yet an antlion he was watching was very similar to its European counterpart. That evening he saw the even stranger platypus and noticed that its bill was soft, unlike the preserved specimens he had seen. Aboriginal stories that they laid eggs were believed by few Europeans. [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 402–403] .] cite web |url= |title=Darwin Online: 'Coccatoos & Crows': An introduction to the Sydney Notebook ]

The Beagle visited Hobart, Tasmania, where Darwin was impressed by the agreeable high society of the settlers, but noted that the island's "Aboriginal blacks are all removed & kept (in reality as prisoners) in a Promontory, the neck of which is guarded. I believe it was not possible to avoid this cruel step; although without doubt the misconduct of the Whites first led to the Necessity." [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 408–410] .] They then sailed to King George's Sound in south west Australia, a dismal settlement then being replaced by the Swan River Colony. Darwin was impressed by the "good disposition of the aboriginal blacks... Although true Savages, it is impossible not to feel an inclination to like such quiet good-natured men." He provided boiled rice for an aboriginal "Corrobery" dancing party performed by the men of two tribes to the great pleasure of the women and children, a "most rude barbarous scene" in which everyone appeared in high spirits, "all moving in hideous harmony" and "perfectly at their ease". [harvnb|Keynes|2001|pp= [ 410–412] .] 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. By then FitzRoy was writing the official "Narrative" of the "Beagle" voyages, and after reading Darwin’s diary he proposed incorporating it into the account, a suggestion Darwin discussed with his family.cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 301 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, C. S., 29 Apr 1836 ]

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 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.Harvnb|Keynes|2000|p= [ xix] .
Harvnb|Eldredge|2006] Though his suspicions about the Falkland Island Fox may have been unsupported, the differences in Galápagos tortoises between islands were remembered, and he later wrote that he had been greatly struck from around March 1836 by the character of South American fossils and of species on the Galapagos Archipelago, noting "These facts origin (especially latter) of all my views". [Harvnb|Barlow|1933|p= [ xiii] .]

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.



thumb|250px|right|In_1837_HMS "Beagle" set off on a survey of Australia, shown here in an 1841 watercolour by Owen Stanley.] 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.cite web |url= |title=Observations of proofs of recent elevation on the coast of Chili, made during the survey of His Majesty's Ship Beagle commanded by Capt. FitzRoy R.N. |author=Darwin, C. R. |authorlink=Charles Darwin |date= Read 4 January 1837|publisher=Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 2: 446-449]

Darwin thought of having his diary published mixed in with FitzRoy's account, but his relatives including Emma and Hensleigh Wedgwood urged that it be published separately. On 30 December the question was settled by FitzRoy taking the advice of William Broderip that Darwin's journal should form the third volume of the "Narrative". Darwin set to work reorganising and trimming his diary, and incorporating scientific material from his notes. He completed his "Journal and Remarks" (now commonly known as "The Voyage of the Beagle") in August 1837, but FitzRoy was slower and the three volumes were published in August 1839.harvnb|Keynes|2001|p= [ xviii–xx] .]

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.

Expert publications on Darwin's collections

Darwin had shown great ability as a collector and had done the best he could with the reference books he had on ship. It was now the province of recognised expert specialists to establish which specimens were unknown, and make their considered taxonomic decisions on defining and naming new species.harvnb|Herbert|1980|p= [ 11] .]


Richard Owen had expertise in comparative anatomy and his professional judgements revealed a succession of similar species in the same locality, giving Darwin insights which he would later recall as being central to his new views. Owen met Darwin on 29 October 1836 and quickly took on the task of describing these new fossils. At that time the only fully described fossil mammals from South America were three species of "Mastodon" and the gigantic "Megatherium".harvnb|Owen|1838|p= [ 13] .] On 9 November Darwin wrote to his sister that "Some of them are turning out great treasures." The near complete skeleton from Punta Alta was apparently very closely allied to anteaters, but of the extraordinary size of a small horse. The rhinoceros sized head bought for two shillings near Mercedes was not a megatherium, but a rodent! "Conceive a Rat or a Hare of such a size— What famous Cats they ought to have had in those days!"cite web |url= |title=Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 321 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, C. S., (9 Nov 1836) |format= |work= |accessdate=] Over the following years Owen published descriptions of the most important fossils, naming several as new species.

The fossils from Punta Alta included a nearly perfect head and three fragments of heads of the "Megatherium Cuvierii", the jaw of a related species which Owen named "Mylodon Darwinii", and jaws of "Megalonyx Jeffersonii". The near complete skeleton was named "Scelidotherium" by Owen, who found it had most of its bones nearly in their proper relative positions. At the nearby Monte Hermoso beds the numerous rodents included species allied to the Brazilian Tuco-tuco and the Capybara.

Owen decided that the fossils of polygonal plates of bony armour found at several locations were not from the Megatherium as Cuvier's description implied, but from a huge armadillo as Darwin had briefly thought. Owen found a description of an earlier unnamed specimen which he named "Glyptodon clavipes" in 1839.harvnb|Owen|1840|pp= [ 106–108] .] Darwin's find from Punta Alta, a large surface about 3 ft (1.5m) by 2 ft (0.6m) doubled over with toe bones still inside the folded armour, was identified as a slightly smaller "Glyptodont" named "Hoplophorus" by Lund in the same year.

The huge rodent head from near Mercedes was named "Toxodon" by Owen,harvnb|Owen|1837|pp= [ 541–542] .] and he showed that the "enormous gnawing tooth" from the cliffs of the Carcarañá River was a molar from this species.harvnb|Owen|1838|p= [ 18] .] The finds near Mercedes also included a large fragment of "Glyptodont" armour and a head which Owen initially identified as a "Glossotherium", but later decided was a "Mylodon".harvnb|Darwin|1846|p= [ 92] .] Owen found fragments of the jaw and a tooth of another "Toxodon" in the fossils from Punta Alta.

The fossils from near Santa Fé included the horse tooth which had puzzled Darwin as it had been previously thought that horses had only come to the Americas in the 16th century, close to a "Toxodon" tooth and a tooth of "Mastodon andium" (now "Cuvieronius hyodon"). Owen confirmed that the horse tooth was of an extinct South American species which he named "Equus curvidens", and its age was confirmed by a corroded horse tooth among the Punta Alta fossils.harvnb|Darwin|1846|p= [ 90] .] This discovery was later explained as part of the evolution of the horse.

The "soft as cheese" "Mastodon" bones at the Paraná River were identified as two gigantic skeletons of the "Mastodon andium", and Mastodon teeth were also identified from Santa Fé and the Carcarañá River.harvnb|Darwin|1846|p= [ 88–92] .] The pieces of spine and a hind leg of from Port S. Julian which Darwin had thought came from "some large animal, I fancy a Mastodon" gave Owen difficulties, as the creature which he named "Macrauchenia" appeared to be a "gigantic and most extraordinary pachyderm", allied to the "Palaeotherium", but with affinities to the llama and the camel. harvnb|Darwin|1846|p= [ 95] .] The fossils at Punta Alta included a pachyderm tooth which was thought probably came from "Macrauchenia".



*Harvard reference
Surname = Browne
Given = E. Janet
Authorlink = Janet Browne
Year = 1995
Title = Charles Darwin: vol. 1 Voyaging
Publisher = London: Jonathan Cape
ID = ISBN 1-84413-314-1

last= Darwin
first= Charles
author-link=Charles Darwin
year= 1839
title=Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Journal and remarks. 1832-1836.
publication-place= London
publisher=Henry Colburn
*Harvard reference
Surname = Darwin
Given = Charles
Authorlink = Charles Darwin
Year = 1845
Title = Journal of Researches (The Voyage of the Beagle)
Edition = Second
Publisher = London: John Murray
Retrieved on 2007-04-27
*cite book
last = Desmond
first = Adrian
authorlink =
coauthors =Moore, James
title = Darwin
publisher = Michael Joseph, the Penguin Group
year = 1991
location = London
pages =
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-7181-3430-3

*Harvard reference
Surname1 = Eldredge
Given1 = Niles
Year = 2006
Title = Confessions of a Darwinist
Journal = The Virginia Quarterly Review
Issue = Spring 2006
Pages = 32-53
Retrieved on 2007-04-27
last= FitzRoy
first= Robert
author-link=Robert FitzRoy
year= 1839
title=Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Volume II
publication-place= London
publisher=Henry Colburn
last= FitzRoy
first= Robert
author-link=Robert FitzRoy
year= 1839
title=Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Appendix to Volume II
publication-place= London
publisher=Henry Colburn
*Harvard reference
Surname1 = Keynes
Given1 = Richard (ed.)
Year = 2000
Title = Charles Darwin's zoology notes & specimen lists from H.M.S. Beagle.
Publisher = Cambridge University Press
Location = Cambridge
Chapter = [ June – August 1836]
Retrieved on 2006-12-15

editor-first=Richard Darwin
editor-link=Richard Keynes
title=Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary
place= Cambridge
publisher=Cambridge University Press
publication-date= 2001
. Retrieved on 2008-08-07
last=Parker King
first= Philip
author-link=Phillip Parker King
year= 1839
editor-last= FitzRoy
editor-first= Robert
editor-link=Robert FitzRoy
title=Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Proceedings of the first expedition, 1826-30, under the command of Captain P. Parker King, R.N., F.R.S.
publication-place= London
publisher=Henry Colburn

External links

*cite web |url= | - Beagle Voyage |accessdate=2007-11-21 |format= |work=

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Second voyage du HMS Beagle — Article principal : HMS Beagle. Le second voyage du Beagle, du 27 décembre 1831 au 2 octobre 1836, est le second voyage d exploration scientifique du HMS Beagle, dirigé par le capitaine Robert FitzRoy qui avait déjà pris le commandement du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Second Voyage du Beagle — Second voyage de l HMS Beagle Article principal : HMS Beagle. Le second voyage du Beagle, du 27 décembre 1831 au 2 octobre 1836, est le second voyage d exploration scientifique du HMS Beagle, dirigé par le capitaine Robert FitzRoy qui avait… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Second voyage de l'HMS Beagle — Article principal : HMS Beagle. Le second voyage du Beagle, du 27 décembre 1831 au 2 octobre 1836, est le second voyage d exploration scientifique du HMS Beagle, dirigé par le capitaine Robert FitzRoy qui avait déjà pris le commandement du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Second voyage de l'hms beagle — Article principal : HMS Beagle. Le second voyage du Beagle, du 27 décembre 1831 au 2 octobre 1836, est le second voyage d exploration scientifique du HMS Beagle, dirigé par le capitaine Robert FitzRoy qui avait déjà pris le commandement du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Second voyage du Beagle — Second voyage de l HMS Beagle Article principal : HMS Beagle. Le second voyage du Beagle, du 27 décembre 1831 au 2 octobre 1836, est le second voyage d exploration scientifique du HMS Beagle, dirigé par le capitaine Robert FitzRoy qui avait… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hms beagle — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beagle (homonymie). HMS Beagle (centre) par Owen Stanley 1841 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • HMS Beagle — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beagle (homonymie). HMS Beagle (centre) par Owen Stanley 1841 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Voyage of the Beagle — The voyage of the Beagle can refer to:*The second voyage of HMS Beagle *Charles Darwin s book about that voyage, The Voyage of the Beagle *Other voyages of HMS Beagle …   Wikipedia

  • HMS Beagle — was a Cherokee class 10 gun brig sloop of the Royal Navy, named after the beagle, a breed of dog. She was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames, at a cost of £7,803. In July of that year she took part in a fleet… …   Wikipedia

  • The Voyage of the Beagle — This article is about the book. For the expedition, see Second voyage of HMS Beagle. A watercolour by HMS Beagle s draughtsman, Conrad Martens. Painted during the survey of Tierra del Fuego, it depicts the Beagle being hailed by native Fuegians.… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”