Charles Darwin Important events/discoveries


8/29/1831-Darwin received letters inviting him to be the naturalist on the HMS Beagle.

8/30/1831-Wrote that his father would not let him go on the voyage.

9/1/1831- Darwin discovers his father will let go on the voyage.

12/3/1831- Darwin arrives in Plymouth and starts sleeping onboard the ship.

12/27/1831- The HMS Beagle leaves port with a crew of 73 people.


1/6/1832- Ship arrives at Santa Cruz.

2/28/1832- Ship arrives at Salvador, Brazil on All Saints Day.

4/3/1832- Ship drops anchor at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

6/6/1832- Beagle returned from Salvador.

8/19/1832- Darwin sent off his first load of specimens and notes to Heenslow in Cambridge.


1/23/1833- A mission was started at Woolya Cove just off the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego. Revd. Richard Matthews and three anglicized Fuegians stayed behind to run the mission (their names were: York Minster, Jemmy Button and a female named Fuegia Basket). Small huts were built and gardens planted, and much cargo and provisions were left with them.

3/1/1833- H.M.S. Beagle arrived at the Falkland Islands at Port Louis.

5/1/1833- Darwin was dropped off at Maldonado while the Beagle returned to Montevideo. He went on a twelve day interior expedition with two hired gauchos and a team of horses.

11/2/1833- Darwin left Buenos Aires amid much civil unrest in the city and boarded a packet ship to join the Beagle at Montevideo.

11/14/1833- Darwin, having become totally hooked on fossil collecting, explored the Mercedes region of Uruguay where he was told very large specimens could be found.


2/12/1834- The Beagle and Adventure were now at Woolya Cove again and Capt. FitzRoy checked on the missionaries that were left behind.

9/27/1834- Darwin arrived back at Valparaiso from an inland excursion but had been very sick for the past few weeks. He stayed at Corfield's house with a bad fever and did not recover until late October.

8/20/1834- Another shipment of specimens was sent to Revd. Henslow. This one included many bird skins, insects, seeds, some plants, and water and gas samples from some hot springs in the Andes Mountains.

11/10/1834- H.M.S. Beagle picked up Darwin (now in much better health) and headed south to survey the Chronos Archipelago and the waters around Chiloe Island. Darwin went on a little excursion on the island, hoping to do some geology, but he was not very impressed. The Beagle next surveyed up the coast to the town of Valdivia.


2/20/1835- A massive earthquake hit Valdivia and Darwin was right in the middle of the action. The devastation was horrible - nearly every building in the area was destroyed. While the Beagle tried to make anchorage at Concepcion Darwin was dropped off at the island of Quiriquina and while exploring around the island he found areas of land that have risen a few feet due to the earthquake. He became very excited about this find, as it was direct evidence that the Andes mountains, and indeed all of South America, were very slowly rising above the ocean.

3/12/1835- Darwin worked out another Andes expedition while in the town of Santiago. The Beagle returned south to Concepcion and was engaged the next few months in investigating the effects of the earthquake.

7/9/1835- H.M.S. Beagle arrived at Lima, Peru. Darwin looked around the city and was shocked at the state of decay all around him. The next few weeks were spent taking on provisions for the trip across the Pacific ocean.

9/7/1835- H.M.S. Beagle set sail from Callao, Peru, to the Galapagos Archipelago.

12/21/1835- The Beagle arrived at New Zealand. Darwin was not too impressed with the natives, whom he viewed with suspicion (they practiced cannibalism before the missions arrived).


1/12/1836- H.M.S. Beagle arrived at Sydney Harbor, Australia.

2/5/1836- H.M.S. Beagle arrived at Hobart Town, on the island of Tasmania. Darwin took several inland trips on the island, studying the local geology.

5/31/1836- The Beagle sailed around the southern tip of Africa and anchored at Simon's Bay near Cape Town.

8/9/1836- The Beagle arrived at the Azores and anchored at the island of Terceira. Darwin went off exploring what he had been told was an active crater. He did not find the landscape very appealing.

10/2/1836- M.S. Beagle finally arrived home after a voyage of four years, nine months, five days. They docked at Falmouth, England, at night during a storm. Darwin set off immediately for home.

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