The offer of a position on the Beagle, which Charles received on August 30, 1831, came through his advisor, Henslow, at Cambridge. Henslow himself had been invited to be the naturalist for the ship, but had turned down the opportunity. The voyage had been commissioned by the government to map the coast of South America and was being captained by Robert FitzRoy, a 26-year-old gentleman who had led a ship to South America the year before. FitzRoy was eager to have the companionship of someone who, unlike the sailors and officers of the ship, was of his social class. A gentleman naturalist would fit the bill perfectly, providing companionship while increasing the usefulness and prestige of the voyage. Most well-established naturalists, like Henslow, had proven to be busy or disinclined, so the job had fallen to the promising but inexperienced Charles Darwin. Unfortunately, there was a hurdle to be crossed before Charles could sign on. He
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2011 for the course ART 2313 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Texas State.