Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP3074

Sent by:
James Brooke
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
5 November 1856

Sent by James Brooke, Singapore to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 5 November 1856.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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LETTER (WCP3074.3042)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46441 ff. 6-8
Copyright owner:
ęBrooke Heritage Trust

Physical description

Transcription information





5 November 1856

My dear Wallace

You will be pleased to hear something of Sarawak, and the changes occurring there. Cruikshank returned bringing with him a pretty and lady like wife.-- Brooke and Charles Grant have followed this good example and taken partners unto themselves-- we expect them out about church next.

St John I am sorry to say has been removed to [[2]] Bruné. The government though yielding the question of jurisdiction and and[sic] "not wishing to deny the right of the people of Sarawak to assert their independence" would not acknowledge my position. -- The concession has however been of great service -- it has rendered Sarawak particularly free & has restored me that peace of mind which I value more than these titles and honors.[sic]

St John however has been translated[?] and I am sorry for it. The Borneo Company [[3]] limited goes ahead [one word illegible] and I believe with a rational prospect of success.

Coulson advances with his work -- the rails are out1 -- and a steamer of size and speed, expected at about the end of this month-- If they progress slowly and steadily, feeling their way, and making allowances for the undeveloped state of the country, I have good hopes of them, but if they expect and endeavour to command success, by the bold expenditure of capital, they will fail. My apprehension arises from neglect of proper means of [one word illegible] to the end. -- this is the stumbling block of civilized folk working blindfold in a rude country. [[4]] I came here for change and can [one word illegible] benefit from it, not that I was ill though lower than I ought to have been considering how much I have to keep me in a high state of spirits.--

I learn from Padday2 at whose I am staying that you are now at Makassar after a sojourn at Bali-- Before you leave this part of the world I hope to see you again at Sarawak which in its present stage of transition, may by that time present you with some new forms of animated existence-- like our young ladies—as[?] of[?] ancient vegetable types, like myself-- Have you read Baden Powells essays? Three [[5]] in number viz. "Spirit of the Inductive Theology Philosophy", "Unity or Plurality of worlds" and "Philosophy of Creation" They are really <p>hilosophical and convey how a clergyman of the Church of England denote an [one word illegible] change in popular theology-- accompanied as a matter of course with bigotry and [one word illegible]. -- The author utterly abandons the entire Mosaic Cosmogony-- he alludes to "provident philosophers" as suppressing truth for fear of consequences-- adopts your view of the transmutation of species-- as well as the Nebular theory not as proved, but as reasonable and religious probabilities, & in short takes large and [[6]] satisfying views of Nature and of Nature’s God.-- Remember this little book-- and make note of as Cap<tai>n Cuttle says-- it will interest you I am sure.

Charles alias Martin-- alias Allen was miserable at the mission-- the constraint was more than he could bear, which might have been foreseen had his previous life been considered before putting him into theological harness. He came to government employ though I had nothing for him to do, but I dare say he will get on in the employ of the Company who will work now acquainted with the language. The rest are all flourishing-- I write you a desultory letter merely to let you know that you continue in my thoughts and

Believe me | [[7]] my dear Wallace | being sincerely yours | J Brooke [signature]

A Wallace Esq.

P.S. Lobb whom you have doubtless heard of is now in Sarawak


1. Coulson was building a railway to his mine, where Wallace had stayed.

2. an R.Padday was associated with the docks in Singapore.

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