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Record number: WCP4658

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Francis Albert Rollo Russell
29 June 1913

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Francis Albert Rollo Russell [none given] on 29 June 1913.

Record created:
14 August 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4658.4975)

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

Held by:
American Philosophical Society
Finding number:
Russell Papers
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




June 29th 1913

Old Orchard,



Hon. Rollo Russel1[sic]

Dear Mr. Russell

It occurs to me that you may perhaps be able to help us in a matter of considerable importance.

You know my son’s misfortune in contracting tuberculosis at Manchester & Middlesbrough, his repeated treatment in Sanatoria during the last 4 years, and the necessity of his obtaining some healthy occupation for which he is [[2]] fitted. An opportunity now occurs at Bournemouth, by the gift to the Town of the art collections of Sir Merton Russell Cotes2 together with the house containing them -- East Cliff Hall3. The donor also provides for the addition to the house of a Museum of Nat[ural]. History Antiquities &c. and a small endowment for the upkeep and Curatorship of the combined collections. This is a position which would exactly suit my son, who is already to some extent a specialist in prehistoric weapons &c. and British Coins. No doubt Sir M. R. Cotes, will have the [[3]] appointment, or a voice in it, and if you happen to know him you might be able to give him an introduction. As an additional qualification he is a good mechanic in wood and metals, and could supervise the proper fitting up of the Museum &c.[.] But what I chiefly wish to suggest is, That[sic] I possess the nucleus of a museum in a series of illustrative specimens of insects and birds, including a fine series of Birds of Paradise collected by oneself. I also have an interesting set of American Flint implements given me by the Museum authorities in Washington, as well as a considerable number of scientific books, especially of those dealing with evolution, and Darwinism.

All these, and whatever else I possess of scientific interest -- a good collection of Autograph letters &c., [[4]] I had intended leaving to my Son, but which in the event of his obtaining the Curatorship, I would present to the Museum.

I think also that my advice might be of use in designing and fitting up the Museum, a subject on which I have written, and to which I have paid attention for the last 50 years.

I also possess a small but very good Astronomical Telescope by Cooke of York, which shows many objects in great perfection and would serve to give a preliminary training to observers till a large instrument could be obtained.

Hoping you may be able to give us some advice and assistance in this matter, I am and[?] --

Yours very faithfully Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


1. Francis Albert Rollo Russell (1849 - 1914). A meteorologist noted for his study of the worldwide effects of the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883.

2. Sir Merton Russell Cotes (1835 - 1921). Mayor of Bournemouth 1894-1895 and local benefactor.

3. East Cliff Hall remains the home of the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

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