Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP2849

Sent by:
A. S. Van Winkle
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
10 January 1906

Sent by A. S. Van Winkle, Keota, Iowa, USA to Alfred Russel Wallace Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset on 10 January 1906.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP2849.2739)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46437 ff. 175-178
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the A. S. Van Winkle Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




Keota, Iowa U.S.A.

Jan[uary] 10th 1906

Alfred Russell Wallace

Orchard, Broadstone, England, Great Britain

Dear Sir!

This morning's mail brought your esteemed favour of the 26th Dec 1905 of which I have perused with great delight: I have already ordered your "Wonderful Centuary" and will order your "Studies Scientific and Social" in a few days, which I trust, I shall find of much value, that will greatly aid me both in my studies and work upon the Geo graphical Distribution and Variation of Species among the Lepidoptera; I often get down your "Malayan Archipeligo" and read and re-read your graphic descriptions of you collecting those grand insects, especially, Ornithropetria[ornithoptera?] that you met with in your travels through the various islands that compose the Archipeligo. Do you know that I used a quotation or so from this very same work, where you mention of collecting by lamplight? Well I did, and was published in Entomological News for April and [[2]] and May of 1890. This was done in order to illustrate what a collector of insects, might do even in this country, and that article was copied in some of the other journals of this country!

Science,[since?] I wrote to you on the 11st(th) of December, of 1905, I have received and been perusing with great delight your "My Life" it is just simply grand, as compared with the Life and Letters of Darwin, of Huxley2, of Max Muller3 and of Louis Agassiz4, all of which I have in my Library and I am going to keep on till I shall have all of yours. When I came to that part of your "My Life" where you treat of[us?] in regard to your American tour, I was in hopes that you would have described more about your walk through the Museum of Comparative Zoology but you kindly refer your reader to your "Studies Scientific and Social" so when I shall receive this work I hope to receive a great treat.

You mention about a young friend of yours, that is, or has already gone,to some parts of South America on a collecting expedition, and I wish him great success.[[3]] You can have him send me some specimens, as I am greatly interested in that fauna, and have been for years. He can send say 100 or 200 specimens of Lepidoptera, as no doubt, as you say, "that it will be of great interest to me, as that part has, as yet, not been thoroughly explored" - When do you think that I shall, or would likley (sp) hear from him?

Do you know, kind and good friend that I keep all of my letters? Coupled with my answers? And have two or three volumes, as I have held correspondence throughout the world, in regard to my studies in entomology for the past twenty or twenty five years? Such is the case, I also have volumes containing the envelope and stamps, also my address upon packages that I receive from time to time? So you see that I believe in preserving everything that bears directly upon my studies. Still greater of all, I have kept a diary pertaining to everything that relates to these studies. In fact it contains much even of my school days. All these, when I become old, will be of untold value to me, don't you think so? [[4]]

Could you not write a work entitled "My letters?" I have an idea that you have letters of priceless value, and if you would collect them into a volume or so, giving such side lights or comments, would <be> of priceless value to us younger students, you have so very few in your "My Life" that gives me a great taste for more.

Now kind friend I must close with many, many, yes with very many thanks for your kindness to me in allowing me to make use of your many works and wishing you many, many happy days, I remain,

Most kindly and friendly Most honoured colleague | G S. Van Winkle Keola [signature]

Iowa U. S. A.


1. Written in the top left of the page in an unidentified hand is "P S Will take some butterflies".

2.Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825 - 1895). British biologist and philosopher.

3. Muller, (Friedrich) Max (1823 - 1900). German-born philologist and orientalist.

4.Agassiz, (Jean) Louis Rodolphe (1807 - 1873). Swiss-born biologist, geologist and zoologist.

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