Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4725

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Matthew B. Slater
6 September 1906

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Matthew B. Slater [none given] on 6 September 1906.

Record created:
24 September 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP4725.5081)

A typical letter handwritten by author.

Held by:
Greater Manchester County Record Office (with Manchester Archives)
Finding number:
Wallace-Slater Correspondence no. 17
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
26/06/2014 - Benny, Ruth;

Physical description

Transcription information



[[1]]1, 2

Broadstone, Wimborne

Sept[embe]r. 6th. 1906

Dear Mr. Slater3

I return you Mr. Teasdale's letter. The "letters" are now of little importance as we have Spruce's4 copies of most of them. Thanks for your further instalment of Lists of Spruce's books & papers. The contents though interesting, are of no use whatever till the missing "Journals" are found. The early "Journal" (Para to Santarem) is of no further use.

Form Spruce's "List of Botanical Excursions" - which is really [[2]] a brief summary of the "Journals" of his whole American Travels, evidently copied in England (soon after his return home) from his "Journals", and extending down to his landing in England, May 28th. 1864, I feel as sure that you have those "Journals" as if I had seen them.

Till you can be send me these I cannot take a single step further. Nothing else is of any use for publication [[3]] except as a supplement to the "Journals".

The Orinoko & Rio Negro Journals, which you discovered lately, are so closely written that if printed in full they would alone make a volume, & I am sure the Tarapoto, and the Andean "Journals", extending over three times as many years, would at least make two more volumes. This would fortunately allow for much condensation, & the omission of all the mere "diary", and uninteresting details.

It is most unfortunate that you did not, at the time of Spruce's death, put all his Mss. into boxes [4] by themselves, so that they could be had when wanted. It is now six months since I offered to do what I could to get them published, and the essential portions, without which all the rest are useless, are still not forthcoming!

Cannot you get a strong woman to help your daughter make a thorough search, from attic to cellar, in cupboards, boxes, & bundles, & everywhere else, till they are found. I cannot ask for any assistance for type-writing &c. or write to publishers till they are found; and the delay and worry are becoming serious.

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


1. The number 17 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, in between the address and the salutation, is the following:

replied to Sep 11. Can find no further Mss. of journals of later travels. Have several letters from correspondents I am to send you any books from list sent you and assist in any way I can

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

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

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