Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP447

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
16 May 1887

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Salina, Kansas, USA to Violet Isabel Wallace, [Nutwood Cottage, Frith Hill, Godalming] on 16 May 1887.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.


Letter from Alfred Russel Wallace to his daughter Violet from Salina, Kansas, 16 May 1887

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP447.447)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/5/31
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Salina, Kansas.

May 16th, 1887 (Monday)

My dear Violet

A week ago I sent a P[ost] Card to Mamma to tell her that I had I just decided to go California. John thinks he can get up one or two lectures which will pay my expenses, and I have taken a ticket by an excursion train which passes here the day after tomorrow & will reach San Francisco this day week. I have just had a telegram from John to say he will meet me there. I have written to Miss Jekyll to ask her how the 3 or 4 boxes of plants I have sent her have arrived, as I am very anxious to be able to send some home safely from the Rocky Mountains and California. On some of the hills here there are beautiful flowers, but generally there are not near so many spring flowers to be seen as at home. I am told however that in the Rocky Mountains they are splendid. As it will be dreadfully dull not having any companion there I have written to Grandpapa asking him to come & join me for a month! It will cost him altogether about £50, and will be such a chance for him of seeing a totally new flora that I am in hopes if he can possibly afford it that he will come.

I enclose a few amusing news cuttings which please stick in a book with any others as I may want them.

[[2]] It will do his health no end of good so if you and Ma can help to persuade him, or to persuade Grandmamma to let him, pray do so. I have had enough lectures to pay my expenses I go along, so that what I earned at first in Boston and Baltimore is still in a bank in Boston,-- "The New England Trust Company." Ask Mamma when she writes to me at John's in California to enclose a small piece of paper with her signature, which I will send to the bank & tell them to pay the money to her in case any thing happens to me. It is about £350 now. Please send the enclosed letter to Willie. My next will be in from California. You ought to see the ladies eat here! Beefsteak and eggs always for breakfast and for tea, besides lots of other things, & everything for dinner! The people here are very ignorant about England. They think every Englishman drops his h's or talks like Lord Dundreary, and are always complimenting me because I speak so like an American. Hope you are getting on with Shakespeare & other good reading, and with your studies. The trumpet honeysuckle & Wisteria are now and here & all the trees in full leaf. Love to Ma & Willie & kind remembrances to the Marshalls, Sharpes, Haywards & all friends.

From your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace [signed]

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