FBI Returns Darwin Letter to Smithsonian Archives
A stolen 1875 letter written by Charles Darwin is back at the Smithsonian after being recovered by the Art Crime Team.
Martin Licciardo, FBI Special Agent, Washington Field Office: In early 2016 we received a citizen tip that an individual had in their possession an original Charles Darwin letter. And through our investigate we were able to determine that the letter itself was stolen in the late 1970s from the Smithsonian by a former employee.
After receiving the citizen tip we were able to recover the letter immediately from the individual that had the letter. And then furthermore we were able to determine through some research, the Cambridge Project, that the letter itself belonged to the Smithsonian Archives.
And then today, its delivery to its final resting place, its home here at the Smithsonian Archives in Washington, D.C.
Paul Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge, Washington Field Office: Thank you for the partnership.
Anne Van Camp, Archives Director, Smithsonian Institution: Thank you very much. We are so grateful and so appreciative of the work that you do.
Licciardo: The fact that the letter that we were able to recover was dated back to 1875 has some serious historic significance.
Art itself is what defines a society as being civil. And its return has a pretty remarkable feeling for us as investigators.
This letter to Mr. Hayden, Ferdinand Hayden, thanking him for some geological work that he had done, sharing information—scientific information—with Charles Darwin, and the fact that we get to return that letter to its rightful owner, it feels pretty awesome.
- 09.21.2017 — Think Before You Post PSA
- 09.14.2017 — Future FBI in Training Program Provides Interactive Experience
- 08.18.2017 — Inside the FBI’s Public Access Line
- 08.10.2017 — Becoming an Agent: John Woodill Recalls Graduation
- 08.10.2017 — Becoming an Agent: Fulfilling a Dream
- 08.03.2017 — Becoming an Agent: Firearms Training
- 08.03.2017 — Becoming an Agent: Driving the Precision Obstacle Course (360-Degree Video)
- 08.03.2017 — Becoming an Agent: Preparing for the Field
- 08.01.2017 — 360-Degree Video of Mock Crime Scene, FBI Honolulu Adopt-a-School
- 07.31.2017 — Becoming an Agent: The First Week
- 07.28.2017 — Becoming an Agent: Inside the Classroom
- 07.28.2017 — Becoming an Agent: Kellie Holland’s Perspective
- 07.27.2017 — How the FBI's Adopt-a-School Program is Working in Hawaii
- 07.24.2017 — Vermont Drug-Related Forfeiture Leads to Renewal of Homes, Neighborhood
- 07.18.2017 — Becoming an Agent: The ONE Program
- 07.18.2017 — Becoming an Agent: John Woodill’s Perspective
- 07.18.2017 — Becoming an Agent: David Lewis’ Perspective
- 07.14.2017 — Security Video of 2013 Connecticut Jewelry Store Robbery
- 06.29.2017 — Wanted by the FBI: Phillip Leron Miller
- 06.16.2017 — Wanted by the FBI: Reward Offered in Maurice Spagnoletti Murder Case