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Record number: WCP3786

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Lester Frank Ward
25 September 1887

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Frith Hill, Godalming, Surrey to Lester Frank Ward [none given] on 25 September 1887.

Record created:
06 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Stern, Bernhard J. (1935). Letters of Alfred Russel Wallace to Lester F. Ward. The Scientific Monthly, 40: 375-379. [p. 377-378]

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[[1]]1 [p. 377]

Godalming, England, September 25, 1887

The receipt with other books &c. of your very fine & interesting "Flora of the Laramie Group" [U. S. Geological Survey, Sixth Annual Report--Washington 1887--pp. 399-557]--reminds me that I must write to you, not only to thank you for it, but also to let you know that I have reached home & to give you a short résumé of my tour after leaving Washington.

I staid a week at Cincinnati & saw there the spring flora pretty well developed in some of the bits of forest near the City; and also visited several of the Ohio mounds. At Sioux City, Iowa, I met Miss Bandusia Wakefield, a fine botanical artist & amateur botanist. At Lawrence, Kansas, I saw their (the University's) fine collection of Cretaceous Plants from the Sandstone nodules containing some very remarkable forms. At Manhattan, Kansas, Prof. Popenhoe took me on an excursion & showed me a good deal of the interesting Prairie flora which on some of the rocky hills was very rich and peculiar, and I saw more of it at Salina, Kan., where I staid a week. In California (end of May) I was too late for the beautiful spring [[2]] [p. 378] flowers, though at the Yosemite & "Bigbees" [sic "Big trees"] I saw some of the forest flora--the coniferous forests of the Sierra being grand beyond description; but on my return in July, I staid a week on the summit of Sierra Nevada & found the sub-alpine flora in perfection and very beautiful. I next staid a week in the Colorado Rockies, in the vicinity of Gray's Peak, which I ascended on foot, where I was enchanted with the glorious alpine vegetation above the timberline, 11,000-14,000 feet. I sent home parcels of plants every day, and am glad to find that a large portion of them have arrived safe. Should you ever go to that neighborhood let me recommend you to go up a valley called "Grizzly Gulch" which is far more "flowery" than the usual trail to Gray's Peak. I left this spot with regret but I had to give a lecture at the Ag. College of Michigan, near Lansing in the end of July. There Professors Beal and Bailey kindly showed me the native vegetation in some tracts of virgin forest & bog, full of Saracenias & Habenaria ciliaris, & a great number of ferns, some of which I sent home. Finding the heat very great & the country too much dried up to be interesting to me, I spent a week with the Allens at Kingston, Can., & then sailed from Montreal the 10th August. During all my journeys I was very well in health except that I suffered from inflamed eyes which has become almost chronic so that I cannot work or read at night. If you have made your excursion to the Yellowstone, I suppose you will have returned by this time, and if you should have brought any seeds of showy flowers I should be glad of a few. There are also a few Washington plants I should like. A fine pea--was it Lathyrus venosus or Clitoria mariana you said you could send me seeds of? I should also like some roots of Viola pedata var. bicolor, Silene pennsylvanica, Orchis spectabilis, & Cypripedium acaule. These will come well if the roots are tied up in damp moss, the leaves if any in dry moss, & the whole packed up in a roll in oiled paper or tea-lead with dry moss. The limit of weight is now 8 3/4 oz. so boxes are too heavy. Prof. Beal has sent me some plants in oiled paper which have come well.

Hoping you are quite well, and with kind remembrances to Mrs. Ward, and to all my Washington friends, Believe me,


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: First of five letters from Wallace to Ward sent over an eleven year period, which were published in a note by Bernhard J. Stern printed in the April 1935 issue of The Scientific Monthly.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S710.htm

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