Down Bromley Kent
Nov. 6th 
Absence from home has prevented me sooner acknowledging your truly generous present of the Final Report on the geology of Massachusetts.- I assure you I feel verily the honor & kindness you have done me. I have as yet read only a little, but I see that there will be much that will interest me greatly; I allude more especially to your detailed accounts of the alluvial deposits, ice & water action &c. &c.
Charles Darwin wrote Edward Hitchcock to thank him for sending a copy of the 1841 Final Report on the Geology of Massachusetts. Darwin was especially interested in Hitchcock's alluvial deposits, because Louis Agassiz's theory of a former glacial age that had left such deposits behind was a topic of considerable debate. Strikingly, Darwin predicted that the fossil footprints would make Hitchcock's name in history. The date of the letter suggests that he had followed the priority dispute between Hitchcock and James Deane in the pages of the American Journal of Science, or had had word of it, and discreetly sought to reassure Hitchcock of his respect.