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Record number: WCP1488

Sent by:
Samuel Phillips Verner
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
7 July 1913

Sent by Samuel Phillips Verner, Bajo [Obispo?], Canal Zone, Panama to Alfred Russel Wallace [address not recorded] on 7 July 1913.

Record created:
23 May 2011 by NHM


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP1488.1267)

A typical letter  .

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/8/288
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Samuel Phillips Verner Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




VA 23







Bajo Obispo

Canal Zone, Panama

7th July, 1913

Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace,


Most Venerable and Honored Sir:

Will you permit one who has long been following you from afar to address these words of grateful admiration to you on perusing your words with reference to present social conditions and their remedy?

After receiving my education at the feet of Dr. James Woodrow3--leader in the teaching of evolution in America from the seventies to his death eight years ago--I plunged into Central Africa at the age of twenty--one. I took your delightful book to the Amazon--written some sixty--odd years ago with me, and I read it again and again-and have loved you ever since. That was in 1895. I studied the pygmies, the gorillas, the chimpanzees; conducted a group of pygmies to America, & took every one of them back home to the High Kazai well and happy-the first ever to leave Africa; made four [[2]] expeditions there; then came here to learn sanitation by practically taking part in that feature of the work on the Canal Zone. I think you are right all the way through: on sociology, on the foolishness of some of "eugenics" people, on evolution, on the great duty before us. I am going to keep up your fight in my part of the world. I am now thirty-eight years old, and perhaps am getting equipped for the task, but I want you to know how I have loved and admired you all these long years--and how the "Travels on the Amazon"4--your sixty--year old child--often pillowed my head on the headwaters of the Congo, and how you leave in one of your readers a disciple and an affectionate friend.

May peace go with you on the long journey, and may the Great Power cause you to feel his inspiring influence even to the end.

With deep respect, believe me, | Most sincerely yours, | Samuel Phillips Verner5 [signature]


1. These first lines are all printed at the top of the page in varying sizes.

2. This line is written in a handwriting other than that of the author and is scrawled diagonally upward from left to right at the top of the page in the middle of the page.

3. Woodrow, James. (1828-1907). American professor.

4. Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro. Written by Alfred Russel Wallace. First published in 1853.

5. Verner, Samuel Phillips. (?-?). American Explorer. Best known for his contributions towards the human zoo. Please see references for more information.


1. Hale, Beth. (2009). Caged in the human zoo: The shocking story of the young pygmy warrior put on show in a monkey house-and how he fueled Hitler's twisted beliefs. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1224189/Caged-human-zoo-The-shocking-story-young-pygmy-warrior-monkey-house--fuelled-Hitlers-twisted-beliefs.html> accesed on 10 July 2014

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