Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP2076

Sent by:
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
[not recorded]

Sent by Joseph Dalton Hooker, [none given] to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on  .

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP2076.1966)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46435 ff. 18-19
Copyright owner:
Reproduced with kind permission of members of the Hooker family

Physical description

Transcription information




My dear Mr Wallace

I thank you very much for your paper on "The origin of human races".

The argument is quite new to me, & opens up an entirely new field of enquiry. You have [?] quite a new light on the subject of Natural Selection, & on the history of man.

You are no doubt right in your estimate of the strength [[2]] of Harris'[?] position in assigning a [illeg.] subclass to man -- but you do not say whether you think clarification can be based on any but purely morphological considerations, which is the tendency of modern systematics[?]. My suspicion is that for practical purposes morphology must, in the present state of science, be our only [[3]] safe guide. I do not thereby imply that other considerations may not have more value, but we have no means of estimating the presence[?] of mind of the lower mammals though these do differ so materially.

Very sincerely yours | J. D. Hooker [signature]1

Alfred Wallace Esq


1. Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton (1817-1911). British botanist and explorer.

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