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.
- 05.21.2020 — FBI Phoenix Joins Arizona Law Enforcement Leaders in Honoring the Fallen
- 05.21.2020 — FBI Sacramento SAC Congratulates Fairfield Police Chief
- 05.18.2020 — 2020 Police Week FBI Chicago Candlelight Vigil
- 05.15.2020 — FBI Dallas Honors Fallen Agents in National Police Week Message
- 05.15.2020 — FBI Honolulu COVID-19 Public Service Announcement
- 05.15.2020 — FBI San Diego Honors Fallen Officers During National Police Week
- 05.15.2020 — FBI New Orleans Recognizes Peace Officers Memorial Day
- 05.14.2020 — 2020 FBI Wall of Honor Memorial Service
- 05.14.2020 — Director Wray Honors Law Enforcement Partners During National Police Week
- 05.11.2020 — Minneapolis FBI Honors Fallen Agents in National Police Week Message
- 05.08.2020 — Jacksonville SAC Congratulates High School Graduates
- 05.08.2020 — Seattle FBI Recognizes Fallen Officers in Police Week Message
- 05.04.2020 — FBI Dallas COVID-19 Public Service Announcement
- 04.30.2020 — Inside the FBI Podcast Trailer: FBI Top Ten List Turns 70
- 04.30.2020 — FBI Jacksonville Honors Director's Community Leadership Award Recipient
- 04.29.2020 — FBI Volunteers Assist Families in Philadelphia
- 04.22.2020 — FBI San Francisco COVID-19 Public Service Announcement
- 04.21.2020 — New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Remarks on FBI During Coronavirus
- 04.21.2020 — El Paso Special Agent in Charge Remarks on FBI During Coronavirus Emergency
- 04.21.2020 — Luis Quesada, Agente Especial a Cargo (SAC) de la División del FBI en El Paso