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Notebook No.127, 13 December 1845 - 23 December 1845

 Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 5
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/127

Scope and Contents

This notebook contains Charles Lyell’s notes from December 13, 1845 to December 24th, 1845 while traveling through Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Wilmington, North Carolina, and en route to Charleston, South Carolina. The index is located in the back of the notebook on pages 115 and seven unumbered pages. Notes are in pencil and ink and include field sketches. An X is used to mark a pencil cross made at certain entries. A date written in the left margin has been inserted at the beginning of the appropriate section.

Scope and Contents

Content warning: Lyell uses his Scientific Notebooks to gather evidence, based on both his own observation, by reviewing other people's works, by correspondence, asking questions and analyses. The language used in this index is historical, can be discriminatory and may cause offence.

The following table of contents is Lyell's own words, copied from Lyell's own "Index", found at the end of the notebook, transcribed from digital surrogates using the platform Transkribus. When known, Lyell's abbreviations and contractions have been expanded using brackets [ ]. Abbreviations in standard use, such as two letter abbreviations for United States place names, have not been expanded. When writing is unclear, and transcription is not possible, this is denoted using [...]. Quotation marks are Lyell's own notation for ditto, as is the abbreviation "do". The inclusion of [sic] indicates the misspelling of a word is deliberate and taken from the notebook. There are numerous margin notations in this index. X is used to mark a pencil cross made at certain entries. It is not clear if this notation is written contemporaneously or later. A few crosses are accompanied with a ‘?’. At times Lyell has included dates (inner left margin) and these have been inserted at the beginning of the appropriate section.

Lyell's own index

Dec 13 [1845]
p. 1 Age of Adirondac [sic Adirondack] Mount[ains]. N.Y.
p. 1 - [Age of Adirondack] q[uery] if like English Lake Slates
p. 1 X Climate & Partridges changed by revol[ution].
p. 1 ? Cold & sleighing at Philad[elphia] Maine etc
p. 1 X Distances in U.S.
p. 2 X Washington Museum, relics Gen[eral] Washington coat, sword etc
p. 2 X Fossil teeth Elephant & mastodons
p. 3 - [Fossil] shells Oregon in Mus[eum]
p. 3 X Coral rock like white chalk Sand[wich]. Isl[ands] [‘Islands’ interlined]
p. 3 X - [Coral] conglom[erate] & marble with fossils
p. 3 X Palenque stone with hieroglyphics
p. 4 X Skiddaway [sic Skidaway] Megath[erium] in Mus[eum] W[ashington].
p. 4 X Build[ings]. public, & Potomac R[iver]. Washingt[on].
p. 6 X Hatred of Engl[and]. War, N.Y. Enquirer
p. 6 X Cheap novels 25 cents, Miss Ferrier’s
p. 6 X War, Polk not arming
p. 8 ? Mexico climate of Von Gerolt
p. 8 ? Statuary marble of Fredericton
p. 8 ? Repeal meeting, Tyler's son, popularity
p. 9 ? Agassiz on tertiary & recent species
p. 9 X Winthrop, Scott, Pakenham, at chapel
p. 9 X Bancroft
p. 9 X Fox, inferior civiliz[ation] on New continent
p. 9 X - [Fox] not arming no proof of pacific
p. 9 X - [Fox] Western people for war
p. 9 X - [Fox] rising on ruins of England
p. 10 Bancroft for free trade in Education
p. 10 X Fox In England no war party as in U.S. Engl[and] unlucky in U.S. war
p. 10 X - [Fox] U.S. army & navy ag[ainst] war
p. 10 X - [Fox] Polk say "18 month hence etc"
p. 11 X - [Fox] - [Polk] better than Tyler
p. 11 X Inferior civiliz[ation] change answered
p. 11 Planters sending carriages their
p. 11 X Fox, Macleod’s case
p. 12 Girard Coll[ection] & Smithsonian
p. 12 Cunningham free kirk on slavery
p. 12 X Fox on Macleods case & war
p. 12 Fish in delta of Mississ[ippi] under soil
p. 13 X Antarctic ice how whale enclosed Captain. Wilkes on
p. 13 Fossil shells Eo[cene] & Mio[cene] q[uery] Museum?
p. 14 & 16 X Capitol, Statue by Greeno[ugh]’ [...]
p. 14 & 16 X - [Capitol] heard speech ag[ainst] annexat[ion] Texas
p. 14 X General Cass for war with Engl[and]
p. 16 X Senators 59 now
p. 16 X Scenery View from Capitol
p. 18 X Annexat[ion] of Texas
p. 18 X Cass on pride & arrogance of G[reat] B[ritain]
p. 18 - [Cass] California to get possess[ion] of
p. 20 X - [Cass] on submitting Oregon to arbitration
p. 21 X D. Webster in supreme Court N.Y. case
p. 21 X Judges all democratic but one
p. 22 X States number of
p. 23 X Slavery Mr Winthrop meeting french slaves - Abolitionists
Dec 16th
p. 23 X Washington to Acquia Creek
p. 23 X - [Washington] Improved route since 1841
p. 24 Mexico & Texas sh[ould] be annexed
p. 24 - [Mexico & Texas] Von Gerolt on
p. 24 X Antarctic [? charter] Wilkes on
p. 26 and 28 X Itinerary plan of tours
p. 30 X Slaves state of in V[irginia]
p. 30 - [Slaves] worth 750 dollars, owning teams
p. 32 X Chesterfield coal field.
p. 34 ? Geology, explosion 2[nd], 12 men killed
p. 36 X - [Geology] calamites, fish
p. 38 X Slaves mostly mulattos in Richmond
p. 38 X - [Slaves] Mulattos if more intelligent?
p. 40 & 38 X Geology Richm[ond] Coal
p. 42 X Slaves V[irginia] gallery in ch[urch] for blacks
p. 42 V[irginia] climate northern in winter but birds & insects tropical
p. 44 X - [Virginia] Coal field section across
p. 46 X Old Black heath section.
p. 48 X Salle's track
p. 50 X U.S. arsenal section
p. 52 X Duval's pit
p. 54 X Deepest shaft, Black health
p. 56 X Chesterfield & St. Etienne compared
p. 57 to 60 X Report by Surveyor on Chesterf[ield] Coal
p. 61 X Slaves no corporal punishment allowed by hired ones by Gifford
p. 61 X White & coloured laborers together
p. 61 X Texas annex[ation] enhances price of slaves as well as general rise
p. 62 X Price of horses V[irginia]. $500
p. 62 X Episcopal [? form] too aristocratic for negro proselytes
p. 62 X - [Episcopal] Whites sharing gallery with slaves
p. 64 X Slaves in V[irginia]. emancipate must expatriate
p. 64 X University discipline, planter's sons spoilt English unpopular
p. 64 Ladies rank lower in V[irginia]
Dec 19
p. 64 X Negro sold himself 3 times for 1500
p. 66 X - [Negro] purchased freedom of wife et cetera
p. 66 X Soil exhausted by slaves, tobacco
p. 66 X Fallow of 4 y[ears] for manure
p. 66 X Geology, donations of fossils
p. 68 X V[irginia] Population vis [‘vis’ interlined] Indian Corn
p. 68 Mining Property bad spec[ulation]. by English
p. 68 Turkey Buzzard’s, flight
p. 68 X V[irginia]. area of
p. 68 X Geology Goal of mines
p. 70 Repeal meetings Bob Tyler attended them for Irish practise
p. 70 X Fish fossils & impressions Blackheath
p. 72 X Geology, Clover hill
p. 72 X - [Geology] Appomattox R[iver]
. p. 74 X - [Geology] Section White Chimney & Creek
Dec 20th
p. 77 X - [Geology] Colour of sandst[one] not red
p. 78 X - [Geology] Coke Townes & Powell
p. 82 X - [Geology] Clover Hill section
p. 84 X - [Geology] - [Clover Hill] Ground Plan or map
p. 86 X - [Geology] Clover hill, Western outcrop
p. 88 X - [Geology] Plants list of in Richm[ond]. Coal
] p. 90 X - [Geology] Coke Townes & Powell
p. 90 X - [Geology] Fish fossil, all Blackheath
Dec 21
p. 90 X Episcopal Church, handsome, service
p. 92 X - [Episcopal Church] gallery reserved for negros announc[ed].
p. 92 X - [Episcopal Church] few coloured people in gallery
p. 92 X Negros more virginian than many Whites
p. 92 X - [Negros] their character Mr Lee
p. 92 Capitol, Richmond, Statue of Washington
p. 92 & 102 X - [Capitol] debate on internal improvement
p. 92 V[irginia] Capt[ain] Smith's account of discovery
p. 94 X - [Virginia] small cities in great popul[ation]
p. 94 - [Virginia] plants & birds, low country monotono[us]
p. 94 - [Virginia] mountains picturesque
p. 94 X Whites taught to read by blacks
p. 94 X Negros Sunday schools for
p. 94 X War, Polk & texas
p. 96 X - [War] Oregon w[ould] be secure to U.S. by immigration [‘-gration’ interlined]
p. 96 Lee Gov[ernor] Taswell's [sic Tazewell] negro
p. 96 "Transient persons" not boarders
December 22nd
p. 98 X Tuomey's collect[ion] Richm[ond] Coal foss[ils]
p. 98 - [Tuomey’s collection] saurian-like teeth?
p. 98 X Distances Richm[ond] to Petersburg V[irginia]
p. 98 X Scenery, monotony owing to following strike of tertiary outcrop
[Dec 23rd]
p. 100 Negros do not grow whiter
p. 100 Pines with rough bark
p. 100 X Geology extent of yellow sand & blood-red loam
p. 100 X Canes, holly misselto [sic mistletoe] S[outh]. of Weldon
p. 100 X Boulders none on Pine Barrens
p. 102 U. pronounced like french in To & Two
p. 102 X Plants N[orth]. of Wilmington N[orth]. C[arolina]
p. 102 X - [Plants] Magnolia, Sumac
p. 102 X Turkey buzzard, wings
p. 102 Solidago tall on railway cutting
p. 102 & 92 X V[irginia] & N[orth]. C[arolina] said to retrograde
p. 102 X V[irginia] planters property [? given] to factors
p. 102 X N[orth]. C[arolina] agriculture backward, ignorance
p. 104 Slavery will yield to influx of whites
p. 104 Memphis convention ship Canal to L[ake]. Su[perior].
p. 104 - [Memphis convention] to connect Michigan & N[ew]. Orleans
p. 104 X Delays on railway, frost, 1 track
p. 106 X N[orth] C[arolina]. going back? land exhausted
p. 106 X War party, objects of seen through
p. 106 X Evergreen oaks 2 kinds, N[orth] C[arolina]
p. 106 ? [illegible word deleted] press at Wilmington printing
p. 108 ? Wilmington anthracite burnt
p. 108 Geology - Sand above Miocene
p. 108 X Pride of India trees 25 y[ears] old
p. 108 X Live oaks in Wilmington suburbs
p. 108 X Tillansia [sic Tillandsia] - hollies with red berries
p. 108 War, Acadia news, Panic in G[reat] B[ritain]
p. 110 X Fire in Wilmington, incendiary
p. 110 X Firemen excused militia duty
p. 110 X Live oak for ship-building
p. 110 Turpentine exported largely
p. 110 X Walk by sea to Smithville
p. 110 X Live oak cut for ships
p. 112 X Migration of Cape Fear Planters to S[outh]
p. 112 X Planters old extravag[ance] Factors not
p. 112 X Overseer's salary unpaid till equals value of estate
p. 112 X Soil poor, fallow, marl
p. 112 Cherokees in N[orth] C[arolina] whole county
p. 112 ? General of Militia tall up if war
p. 112 X Smithville, wild shore, peewits
Dec 24th
p. 114 Wilmington, Martin houses
p. 114 Martin’s 5 or 6 chase hawks
p. 116 Tillansia [sic Tillandsia] pods, downy seeds, uses
p. 116 Live oak with [? entire] leaves
[Note: p. 116 is an index page, the two notes above are on p. 114.]


  • Creation: 13 December 1845 - 23 December 1845


Language of Materials



122 folios

61 Leaves

1 volume

Processing Information

Transcribed by Volunteer Drew Coleman, and catalogued by Strategic projects Archivist Pamela McIntyre, April 2023.



Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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