Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4726

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

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Matthew B. Slater [none given] on 13 September 1906.

Record created:
24 September 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

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LETTER (WCP4726.5082)

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. 18
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. 13th. 1906

Dear Mr. Slater3

I am very sorry to hear that you have not yet found the missing "Journals" -- & still more sorry that you seem inclined to give up all further search for them. Spruce4 was 1 ½ years at Tarapoto exploring the whole surrounding country, and 2 ½ years in the Andes around the great mountains Tungurahua, Pichincha, Quayrapata, & Chimborazo, before he began the Cuichona-bank business. The fulness & interest of his Rio Negro &c. Journals [[2]] shows me how interesting these Andean "Journals" must be, and that he had them all safe in England is proved by the fact that the List of Botanical Excursions, which forms a kind of table of Contents to them -- was clearly made from them after his return home, because, from July 1852 to May 28th. 1864 -- when he landed at Southampton, is all written apparently at nearly the same time, with the same pen & ink, [[3]] and is so exact in dates, often giving what he did each day, that it must have been copied out of his "Journals". The care he took of them is shown by his having had the Rio Negro -- Orinoko -- "Journal" bound up, lettered MSS Vol. II. (This was perhaps bound in Quito) It consists of six separate "Journals" each consisting of about 14 to 20 sheets of note paper, sewn together to form a small notebook for daily use. The rest may still exist in that form, or may have been bound up. They consist of such close & [[4]] often minute writing that they must be copied in type-writing, before they can be prepared for the press. As you only found this one 3 weeks ago, I feel certain you have the rest. Anyhow, it forms the necessary foundation for any book of Spruce's Travels, and unless they are found I cannot take the responsibility and greatly increased labour of making up a book out of fragmentary notes and already published letters & articles.

Unless therefore you find these "Journals", I shall be obliged, regretfully, to return you all that I have. I hope however you will make another effort to discover them.

Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


1. The number 18 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:

Sep 20. Written to say will make a renewed search for journal on getting home from Scarbro

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.