Abraham De-Bartlett and Letters from Charles Darwin and PT Barnham.www.Taxidermy4cash.com

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During my residence in Little Russell Street, Covent Garden, I received a dead, full-grown tiger, from a menagerie. Being anxious to preserve the skeleton as well as the skin, I had the whole of the flesh carefully removed from the bones, leaving the vertebrae and ribs in their entirety. I then had this portion (the skeleton) of the tiger conveyed to the top of the house, and, in order to secure it, it was made fast by a cord to the chimney-stack. It had been there some time, during which the cord must have perished, because one stormy night this skeleton was blown from the roof into the street below. The next morning, to my great astonishment, I found that my presence was required at Bow Street Station, on the supposition that some horrid crime had been committed, and that the skeleton, which had fallen from the roof of my house into the street, was that of some human being and had been conveyed to the nearest police station. It turned out to be my tiger skeleton, but I found it necessary to have the bones of the head, legs and tail carried to the station in order to enable the surgeon, who had been sent for to examine the portions of the skeleton, to certify that they were not "human remains."

LETTERS & CORRESPONDENCE, many thanks Wendy for supplying the translations from family archives

From among the correspondence I have selected some of the most interesting letters, which will form a series by themselves, they having no reference, one with another, to any particular subject. Respecting the letters from Charles Darwin I took the liberty of writing to his son, Mr. Francis Darwin, upon the subject, and in answer he says -

"Dear Sir, -
I regret very much that up to the present I can only find the few letters I now send. Either I or my assistant have been systematically through my father's innumerable portfolios, and I have little hope of discovering any more. There were of course many more, and I cannot imagine where my father put them.
"Yours faithfully, "FRANCIS DARWIN."

"August 24, 1860. "Dear Sir, -
I have directed a copy of my Origin of Species to be sent to your address to the Zoo rooms in Hanover Square, and I hope that you do me the favour to accept it. If you will read article on Hybridism, at page 264, you will see why I am anxious about the embryos in eggs from first crosses. I was very glad to see a donkey with a wild ass in the gardens, for I infer from this that you intend rearing a hybrid; if so I hope that you will look carefully for stripes on the shoulder and legs in the foal: you will see why I am so anxious on this head, if you will read the little discussion in the Origin from p. 163-167. "I will let you hear about the Moscow rabbits (these Moscow rabbits were deposited in the Society's Gardens on September 30, 1860) after I have heard from the young lady who brought them, whether she consents to their being sent to the Gardens. If you should hear from Hunt anything about the record of the gestation of the Canidoe, or about the parents of hybrid jackals, perhaps you will kindly communicated to me, and remain, dear sir,
"Yours faithfully, "CHARLES DARWIN."

"May 21, 1861. "Dear Sir, -
The bearer will deliver three rabbits (if none dead on voyage) from Madera. Will you take charge of them for me, and show this note to Mr. Sclater? They are zoologically very interesting, for they have run wild on a little island of Porto Santo, since the year 1420; and judging from two dead ones seen by me, they have become greatly reduced in size and modified in colour and their skeletons. I want much to see them alive, and to try whether they will cross freely with common rabbits. I am going immediately to leave home for two months. Would there be any objection to your keeping them for some time and matching them with some other breed; or if you think fit, first try and get some purely bred? "I may perhaps be mistaken, but I was very much surprised at many of the characters of the two dead specimens which I saw. "If any one should die, I should like its skeleton. Pray forgive me for troubling you, but I know not what to do with them at present. "If worth consideration, I would of course pay for their keep.
"In haste, "Dear sir, "Yours very faithfully, "CHARLES DARWIN."

With reference to the above rabbits, Mr. C. Darwin writes :-
"The two little Porto Santo rabbits, whilst alive in the zoological Gardens, had a remarkably different appearance from the common kind. They were extraordinarily wild and active, so that many persons exclaimed on seeing them that they were more like large rats than rabbits. They were nocturnal to an unusual degree in their habits, and their wildness was never in the least subdued; so that the Superintendent, Mr. Bartlett, assured me that he never had a wilder animal under his charge. This is a singular fact, considering that they are descended from a domesticated breed. Lastly, and this is a highly remarkable fact, Mr. Bartlett could never succeed in getting these two rabbits, which were both males, to associate or breed with the females of several breeds which were repeatedly placed with them." The two rabbits above-mentioned were deposited in the Society's Gardens, May 21, 1861, and entered as two females, but Mr. Darwin says they were males.
"January 30, 1865. "My Dear Sir, -
You have two rabbits of mine from Porto Santo. Will you be so good as to have one of them killed, taking great care that the skull and vertebrae are not broken, and send as soon as you can, addressed - 'C. DARWIN, ESQ.,

'Care of Down Postman, 'Bromley, Kent.'

"I shall be very much obliged if you will inform me whether you have got young from these rabbits with the females of other breeds? "I want to beg one other favour; I want to examine under the microscope the tipped feathers of Gallus sonneratii. Could you send me one or two? "Believe me, my dear sir, "Yours very faithfully, "CHARLES DARWIN."

"Dec 19, 1866, "My Dear Sir, -
I was with Mr. Wood this morning, and he expressed himself strongly about you and your daughter's kindness in aiding him. He much wants assistance on another point, and if you could aid him, you would greatly oblige me. You know well the appearance of a dog when approaching another dog with hostile intentions before they come close together. The dog walks very stiff, with tail rigid and upright, hair on back erected, ears pointed and eyes directed forwards. When the dog attacks the other, down go the ears and the canines are uncovered. How could you anyhow arrange so that one of your dogs could see a strange dog from a little distance, so that Mr. Wood could sketch the former attitude, of the stiff gesture with erected hair and erected ears. And then he could afterwards sketch the same dogs, when fondled by his master and wagging his tail with drooping ears. These two sketches I want much, and it would be a great favour to Mr. Wood and myself if you could aid him. "My dear sir,
"Yours very faithfully, "CH. DARWIN.

"Zoo, January 1888. "DEAR MR. BARNUM, -
Your kindness in thinking of me by sending me frequently newspapers containing most interesting accounts of your good will and good health, and the great amount of labour you bestow in advancing mankind, causes me to think how neglectful I am, and have been, in not more frequently writing to you; it occurs to me that at the end of this year I ought to do something to make up for this apparent apathy. In attempting to do this, I am reminded that my time is limited, and that I am engaged in writing my experiences and recollections from my early life; and considering that I was born in the year 1812, you well know that much must have happened to me since that time. My book, I hope, will be published before long, and I intend it to contain many anecdotes with reference to animals, etc., together with their treatment, food, and other particulars as to the management of wild animals in captivity, with illustrations. Having told you this, I am sure you will know that I have not been idle, considering that I have my unceasing duty to perform daily, but I am happy to say the work is nearly finished. "Trusting you are well, and wishing you a happy new year, "Believe me,
"Yours faithfully, "A. D. BARTLETT."

"Bridgeport, Conn., U.S.A., "February 22, 1888. "Dear MR. BARTLETT, -
I write in haste to say I shall be glad to get and pay for your book, when it is published, and will try to hit some American friend who will bring it over, unless you know some party who will bring it. I am certain it must be very interesting. "We are very busy getting the big show ready to open in New York, March 25th. It grows larger and more marvellous annually. "Hoping you are all well and happy as we all are, "I am, as ever,
"Very truly your friend, "PHINEAS T. BARNUM."

"Craven Head, Drury Lane, "May 2, 1851. "Sir, -
In compliance with your desire of knowing a few of the facts connected with me, I hasten to lay the following account before you. I was born May 2, 1820, at a small village called West Somerton, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. My father, who was a respectable farmer, was 6 ft. 6 in. in height, and married Elizabeth Diamond of the same neighbourhood; she was 6 ft. in height and weighed fourteen stone. "The family consisted of five daughters and four sons, all of whom attained an extraordinary height, the males averaging 6 ft. 5 in. in height, and females 6 ft. 4in. "It is sometimes a difficult and at all times an unpleasant proceeding for a man to give a description of his person owing to the simple reason so briefly and pointedly expressed by Burns, 'we never see ourselves as ithers see us,' but, however, if I confine myself to facts and measurements, neither egotism nor modesty can lead me astray. Height, 7 ft. 6 in. Weight, 33 stone (14 lbs. to the stone) 62 in. round the chest 64 in. round the waist 36 the abdomen 36 round the thigh 21 the calf of the leg. "Perhaps it will be necessary to inform you that in 1848, having a great desire to see the Western world, I took passage on H. M. royal mail-steamer Canada, and after one of the most boisterous and dangerous voyages made across the Atlantic, I arrived at the city of New York on Thursday, December 14, 1848. I remained in America two years, and during the greater part of that period I travelled in company with the celebrated General Tom Thumb. "And now, sir, after trespassing so far on your valuable time, allow me to subscribe myself,
"Your obedient servant, "ROBERT HALES, "Craven Head, "Drury Lane."

Robert Hales, the Norfolk giant, was introduced to Her Majesty, Prince Albert, and the Royal Family, at Buckingham Palace, on April 11, 1851. "Feb, 17, 1895. "Sir, -
I would be greatly obliged to you if you can tell me the cause, and still more, a cure for my cockatoo eating his feathers. I have had the bird ten years; the first two years he ailed nothing. I fed him as directed by the ship's butcher, who brought him, with Indian corn, a few chilli-pods, a teaspoon of hempseed thrice a week, bread, potatoes, greens, fruit, a little milk pudding without egg, sometimes a bone to pick. "After this my husband treated him to bacon-rind in the morning, and sometimes I gave him a taste of egg. Presently an irritation arose in his feet, he bit his toes till they bled profusely, then one claw fell off and has never grown again. "We stopped the bacon and egg, but he has been careful to maintain an open sore on his leg ever since, will not let it quite heal. I fancy he likes the taste of blood. We have tried endless remedies without success; any greasy ones like glycerine make him bite more fiercely. This was his sole disfigurement; until last December his plumage was always fine. For a year previous I had been giving him lean meat once or twice a week, on the advice of an Australian who did so and who thought his leg did not heal because he was poorly fed. "The cockatoo suddenly began to bite the leg more than ever until it was swollen to twice the size, then started, not to pull out, but to bite all the feathers on his breast and his back with some from his wings, and chew them up deliberately. A bird authority near said his blood was overheated; his diet must be wrong; meat was given up, even sago-pudding stopped, he has now only plain biscuits, bread, potatoes, and his seeds. The leg has returned to its former dimensions and still not quite healed, but he continues to bite off the feathers on breast, back, and wings as they grow, leaving the stumps in the flesh, and he chews these when not observed, therefore he is a melancholy-looking object, though his spirits are excellent. I have been advised to ask your advice because you study the birds under your care, and you must have had vast experience. I enclose a stamped envelope, and will be most grateful if you can tell me of a remedy, and also what you find the most suitable diet for these birds; mine will not eat any kind on nuts. I do not know whether I have inflicted a needlessly long letter upon you, if so, my excuse must be that I thought you might understand the case better if I told you exactly how the bird has been treated. "My cockatoo has always had a bath once a week except in frosty weather, with some of Jeyes' Purifier in it, and he is never exposed to draughts, though he is taken in the garden during the day in warm weather. "Apologising for the trouble I am asking you to take, "From yours sincerely,

(the answer) "Zoo, Feb. 18, 1895. "MADAM, -
I fear your bird is past recovery; no doubt the improper food has been the cause of its suffering.
"Yours sincerely, "A. D. BARTLETT."

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