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Record number: WCP1454

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Joseph Dalton Hooker
6 October 1858

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Ternate Island, Moluccas, [Indonesia] to Joseph Dalton Hooker [none given] on 6 October 1858.

Record created:
07 March 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline
Verified by:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine (All except summary checked);


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (2)

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LETTER (WCP1454.4022)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

This letter was enclosed in a letter to Charles Darwin to be forwarded to Joseph Dalton Hooker to the Darwin Correspondence Project.

Held by:
Cambridge University Library
Finding number:
MS Dar 270, 3:1
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine;

Physical description

Transcription information




Ternate, Moluccas

Oct[ober]. 6. 1858

My dear Sir

I beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of July last, sent me by Mr. Darwin, & informing me of the steps you had taken with reference to a paper I had communicated to that gentleman. Allow me in the first place sincerely to thank yourself & Sir Charles Lyell for your kind offices on this occasion, & to assure you of the gratification afforded me both by the course you have pursued, & the favourable opinions of my essay which you have so kindly expressed. I cannot but consider myself a favoured party in this matter, because it has hitherto been too much the practice in cases of this sort to impute all the merit to the [[2]] first discoverer of a new fact or a new theory, & little or none to any other party who may, quite independently, have arrived at the same result a few years or a few hours later.

I also look upon it as a most fortunate circumstance that I had a short time ago commenced a correspondence with Mr. Darwin on the subject of "Varieties", since it has led to the earlier publication of a portion of his researches & has secured to him a claim to priority which an independent publication either by myself or some other party might have injuriously affected;--for it is evident that the time has now arrived when these & similar views will [the former word replaces a deleted and illeg. word] be promulgated & must be fairly discussed.

It would have caused me much [[3]] pain & regret had Mr. Darwin’s excess of generosity led him to make public my paper unaccompanied by his own much earlier & I doubt not much more complete views on the same subject, & I must again thank you for the course you have adopted, which while strictly just to both parties, is so favourable to myself.

Being on the eve of a fresh journey I can now add no more than to thank you for your kind advice as to a speedy return to England;-- but I dare say you well know & feel, that to induce a Naturalist to quit his researches at their most interesting point requires some more cogent argument than the prospective loss of health.

I remain | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

J. D. Hooker, M.D.1

[[4]]2 Jos[eph]. D[alton]. Hooker, M.D. F.R.S.


1. Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817 - 1911). English botanist and 2nd Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

2. The text on this page is written in the centre of the page, which is otherwise blank.

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