A cartoon featuring Darwin by Thomas Nast, father of the political cartoon, in an 1871 Harper's Weekly. People had quite a sense of humor back then.
I thought that Darwin's obituary, published on April 21, 1882 in the New York Times, was a good look at how Darwin was viewed during his own life and shortly after his death. In some ways, things haven't changed too much; Darwin is clearly well respected, but his ideas aren't well understood:
"He did not construct a theory of the cosmos, and he did not deal with the entire theory of evolution. He was content to leave others to poke about in the original protoplasmic mire, and to extend the evolutionary law to social and political phenomena. For himself, he tried to show how higher organic forms were evolved out of lower. He starts with life already existing, and traces it through its successive forms up to the highest--man."
There are a lot of other passages like this in the obituary: well intentioned, mostly correct, but fundamentally off the mark in a major way. It's surprising to me that natural selection was perceived in a distorted way even around the time of Darwin's death, especially given the care with which Darwin laid out his argument in the Origin of the Species. I'm curious why this was (and still is) . . .