Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP4724

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Matthew B. Slater
26 August 1906

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Matthew B. Slater [none given] on 26 August 1906.

Record created:
24 September 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP4724.5080)

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

Held by:
Greater Manchester County Record Office (with Manchester Archives)
Finding number:
Wallace-Slater Correspondence no. 16
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
26/06/2014 - Benny, Ruth;

Physical description

Transcription information



[[1]]1, 2

Broadstone, Wimborne

August 26th. 1906

Dear Mr. Slater3

Since writing to you on Friday, I have looked again over the whole of the Note. books & Mss. I have of Spruce's4, and find that there is nothing in the shape of a "Journal" of his year-and-a-half residence at Tarapoto. -- with his numerous excursions for days or weeks in the country round --

Again, from his arrival at Baños in July 1857 to his [[2]] sailing from for England from Payta in May 1864 -- six years and three quarters -- there is also no scrap of "Journal".--

Yet the "List of Botanical Excursions" -- evidently, for all the Rio Negro and Orinoko voyage, copied out from his Journal after his return to England -- continues with equal detail, all through these missing periods, & must evidently have been abstracted from other Journals, which seem to have been [[3]] written on small books of note-paper size, & afterwards bound up with Botanical Notes &c.

It is evident therefore that you must still have a large quantity of "Journals" -- either in separate small books, or bound together.

As it is these "Journals" alone that are of any use for giving an account of his whole Travels, please make another search for them.

Almost all the other books & Mss. are filled with such [[4]] odd fragments of Notes, & very largely with extracts from other books, and with vocabularies of languages, & meteorological tables, which are only fit for scientific Societies. I really feel that nothing can be done till his complete "Journals" written at the time, are all found.

Believe me | Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. From July 1852 -- (Rio Negro) to May 1864 (arrived home) 12 years -- all the entries in this "List of Excursions" are in the same writing, ink, & pen, & must have been written continuously after reaching home.

A.R.W. [signature]


1. The number 16 is written in the top left hand corner of the page, in a hand other than Wallace's.

2. Written at the top of the first page of the letter, to the left of the address and above the salutation, is the following:

Aug 25 & 26th letters replied to Sep 4/06

This appears to have been written later and in a hand other than Wallace's (perhaps Slater's).

3. Slater, Matthew B. (1830 - 1918), botanist.

4. Spruce, Richard (1817 - 1893), botanist.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.