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Record number: WCP354

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Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell)
28 May 1854

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Bukit Tima, Singapore to Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell) [none given] on 28 May 1854.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.
Verified by:
21/08/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline (All except summary checked);


Re. daily tasks with insect collections; sending a box of beetles to Stevens; plans to go to Borneo; Charles's progress as assistant; friends and family in England.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP354.354)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/3/29
Copyright owner:
©A. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
21/08/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline;

Item notes

Physical description

Transcription information




Bukit Tima Singapore

May 28th. 1854

My Dear Mother

I send you a few lines through G.[eorge] S.[Silk] as I thought you would like to hear from me. I am very comfortable here living with a Roman Catholic Missionary a frenchman who speaks Chinese Malay & English. I & Charles go into the jungle every day for insects we have seen no tigers in fact they are getting scarcer every day as the jungle is more cleared away. I shall probably stay here another month & then go to Borneo. I send by this mail a small box of insects for Mr Stevens. I think a very valuable one & I hope it will go safely. I expected a letter from you by the last mail but received only two Athenaeums of March 18. & 25. Did not you send the 11th. & April 2nd.---

[[2]] I expected to receive some invoice of the good[s] I sent by the "Eliza Thornton" Did not you receive any? Tell Thomas I wish he would send me a copy of each of the pictures he took of me in the next letter. Address as before. I hope there is plenty of business. I do not think there is a Daguerreotypist in Singapore but it would not I think answer for long as living is very expensive. I saw a report of Mr. Wilsons paper at the Geolog[ical]. Soc[iety]. in the Athenaeum. Is he gone yet? Send Johns letters or a copy of them to me.

The forest here is very similar to that of S[outh]. America -- Palms are very numerous but they are generally small & horridly spiny. There are more of the large & majestic species so abundant on the [[3]] Amazon. I am so busy with insects now that I have no time for any[thing] else. I send now about a thousand beetles to Mr Stevens, & I have as many other insects still on hand which will form part of my next & principal consignment. Singapore is very rich in beetles & before I leave I think I shall have a most beautiful collection -- I will tell you how my day is now occupied. Get up at half past 5. Bath & coffee. Sit down to arrange & put away my insects of the day before, & set them safe out to dry. Charles mending nets, filling pincushions & getting ready for the day. Breakfast at 8. Out to the jungle at 9. We have to walk up a steep hill to get to it & always arrive dripping with perspiration. Then we wander about till two or three generally returning with about 50 -- 60 beetles some very rare & beautiful. Bathe, change clothes & sit down to kill & pin insects. Charles d[itt]o. with his bugs & wasps, I do [written vertically at the left hand side of the page] not trust him yet with beetles. Dinner at 4. Then work again till six. Coffee -- Read-- if very numerous work at insects till 8-9 then to bed--

Adieu with love to all | Your affectionate Son | Alfred R. Wallace. [signature]


Mrs. Wallace

44 Upper Albany St

Ford by G. C. Silk Esq

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