Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

John Tweedie and Charles Darwin in Buenos Aires

Ollerton, J., Chancellor, G. and van Wyhe, J. (2012) John Tweedie and Charles Darwin in Buenos Aires. Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 66(2), pp. 115-124. 0035-9149 (print), 1743-0178 (online).

Item Type: Article
Abstract: The journey of exploration undertaken by Charles Darwin FRS during the voyage of HMS Beagle has a central place within the historical development of evolutionary theory and has been intensively studied. Despite this, new facts continue to emerge about some of the details of Darwin's activities. Drawing on recently published Darwin material and unpublished letters in the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, we document a hitherto unexamined link between Darwin and John Tweedie (1775–1862), a relatively obscure Scottish gardener turned South American plant collector. All of the available evidence points to a meeting between the two men in Buenos Aires in 1832. Tweedie provided Darwin with information about the geography of the Rio Paraná, including the locality of fossilized wood eroding from the river bank. It also seems likely that Tweedie supplied Darwin with seeds that he later shipped back to John Stevens Henslow in Cambridge. Although this brief meeting was at the time relatively unimportant to either man, echoes of that encounter have resonated with Tweedie's descendants to the present day and have formed the basis for a family story about a written correspondence between Darwin and Tweedie. Local information supplied to Darwin by residents such as Tweedie was clearly important and deserves further attention.
Uncontrolled Keywords: HMS Beagle, Buenos Aires, Charles Darwin, fossil wood, John Stevens Henslow, John Tweedie
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Creators: Ollerton, Jeff, Chancellor, Gordon and van Wyhe, John
Publisher: Royal Society of London
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Group > Landscape and Biodiversity Research Group
Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Environmental Science
Research Centres > Environment Research Group
Date: June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 115-124
Journal or Publication Title: Notes and Records of the Royal Society
Volume: 66
Number: 2
Language: English
ISSN: 0035-9149 (print), 1743-0178 (online)
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
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