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Record number: WCP2213

Sent by:
Lester Frank Ward
Sent to:
Frank Evers Beddard
3 October 1894

Sent by Lester Frank Ward, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Washington D.C., USA to Frank Evers Beddard Parkstone, Dorset, on 3 October 1894.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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LETTER (WCP2213.2103)

A typical letter typewritten  in English.

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46436 ff. 343-345
Copyright owner:
Not in copyright

Physical description

Transcription information







October 3, 1894.

Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace,




My dear Dr. Wallace:--

I tried to get time to write to you before I left Europe, but as I was constantly on the go I neglected all correspondence and devoted myself to matters in hand. I had a very successful excursion to the Isle of Wight, my success being largely due to the kind offices of Mr. Linten2, whose notes, given me at Parkstone, proved exactly what I wanted in finding just the right people when I got there, and he had even had the goodness to telegraph to his friends and prepare them for my coming. At Kew3, when I returned, I met Professor Williamson4, which was a great treat. From there I went to Paris, where Mrs. Ward5 was awaiting me, but it was then so late that I only had four days before I must go to Zurich. The meeting6 there, as you know, was a great success and I met many prominent people. The letter that I had from Captain Marshall Hall7 proved very useful, and as you have noticed, the Congress gave much prominence to his proposition relative to the systematic study of glaciers8.

[[2]]9 After the Congress I went to the South of France and spent some time with Saporta10, and from there to Italy to see the collections at Bologna. Then I returned to Paris and we all came home together on a Netherlands steamer from Boulogne-sur-mer. On the whole I consider my voyage a thoroughly successful one, and Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Comstock11, who were in Europe two months longer than I, consider it the event of their lives.

I picked up a good many more plants, both on the Isle of Wight and different parts of the continent, but Mrs. Ward’s collections exceeded mine, so that we have quite a little European herbarium. No part of the botanical side of the trip, however, had anything like the interest for me that our excursion to Corfe Castle12 afforded. That was indeed an ideal day and one that I shall always remember. I think we have succeeded in preserving the colors [sic] of all the heaths collected and got them all home safely. I was so glad that Mrs. Wallace13 was able to be with us on that day. She has no idea how much her presence contributed to my enjoyment of it. Please remember me very kindly to her. I hope you will come to America again and bring her with you so that we can all get acquainted. On the whole I consider my little visit to Parkstone14 as the brightest spot in my European experience.

Yours very sincerely, | Lester F. Ward15 [signature]

[[3]]16 P. S. I forgot to say that when I was in Zurich I wrote to Carruthers17 and told him that if he would like that cycad that we found at Portland18 he could send for it and that you would let him have it. It was impossible for me to get it to America unless I made you the trouble of packing it, which I did not wish to do. I have not heard from him and do not know whether he sent for it or not.

L. F. W.


1. Page numbered "343" in pencil in top RH corner. The word "Dictated" is typed in the top LH corner and "L. F. Ward" is written in pencil underneath. The letter is typed.

2. Not identified.

3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

4. Williamson, William Crawford (1816-1895). English naturalist and palaeobotanist. He became professor of natural history at the foundation of Owen’s College in 1851, (later the University of Manchester), retaining the Chair of botany until 1892, when he retired to Clapham, London.

5. Rosamond Asenath Simons was married to Lester Frank Ward as his second wife in 1873. (His first wife Elizabeth "Lizzie" Carolyn Vought died in 1872).

6. International Geological Congress, Zurich, 1894.

7. Hall, Marshall (1831-1896). English geologist. He initially worked on mineralological investigations in the Swiss Alps, where he was a keen mountaineer. On returning to England, his work centred on glacial action.

8. At the International Geological Congress at Zurich in 1894, Marshall Hall initiated the formation of the Commission Internationale des Glaciers, and was elected the British representative.

9. Page numbered "344" in pencil in top RH corner. "L. F. Ward" is written in pencil across top LH corner. The number "2" is typed in the centre of the top of the page.

10. de Saporta, Gaston (1823-1895). French aristocrat, palaeobotanist and writer. He was a follower of the theory of evolution and demonstrated the transformation of plant species. He wrote many books about botany from the 1860s to the 1890s and also corresponded with Charles Darwin. He resided in Aix-en-Provence and paved the way for the inauguration of the Museum of Natural History there.

11. Not identified.

12. A ruined fortification standing above the village of Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset, close to Parkstone, ARW’s home at the time.

13. Annie Wallace (née Mitten) (1846-1914).

14. An area of Poole, Dorset, ARW’s home at the time.

15. Ward, Lester Frank (1841-1913). American botanist, palaeontologist and sociologist. In 1883 he was made Geologist of the United States Geological Survey. In 1892 he was named Paleontologist for the USGS, a position he held until 1906, when he resigned to accept the chair of Sociology at Brown University, Rhode Island.

16. Page numbered "345" in pencil in top RH corner of page. "L. F. Ward" is written in pencil across top LH corner. The number "3" is typed in the centre of the top of the page.

17. Carruthers, William (1830-1922). Scottish botanist, keeper of the Department of Botany at the British Museum 1871-1895 and president of the Linnean Society 1886-1890.

18. The Isle of Portland is a limestone peninsula 8 km south of the resort of Weymouth in Dorset. Portland is a central part of the Jurassic Coast, important for its geology and fossil record.

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