Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP4853

Add to My list
Sent by:
Carl Wilhelm Ernst
Sent to:
Daniel Coit Gilman
2 February 1886

Sent by Carl Wilhelm Ernst, Boston, Massachusetts, USA to Daniel Coit Gilman John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA on 2 February 1886.

Record created:
14 November 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP4853.5252)

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

Held by:
Special Collections, The John Hopkins University
Finding number:
Daniel Coit Gilman Papers, Ms. 1, Box 1.50
Copyright owner:
Not in copyright

Physical description

Transcription information




The Beacon2


Opposite the Old South.



February 2, 1886

Dear President Gilman3, --

Dr Alfred Russel Wallace whose work in political economy I think almost as much as the most eminent men of science think of his work in natural history and animal geography, writes to me that he thinks of visiting this country by autumn next , happy to pass the cold months in California. It occurs to me that you might wish to know of this, as Mr. Wallace will nowhere find a heartier welcome than at Johns Hopkins4. Bul [sic] yet I wish to avoid the appearance of making suggestions to you, I write in a similar way to Mr. Augustus Lowell5, who responded very hastily, and will ask Mr. Wallace to lecture in the Lowell Institute6 courses. For Mr. Wallace's scientific attainments and style I have the greatest admiration; of his social graces I know nothing. And yet I am quite [[2]] anxious that he should speak in this country on social topics, in which he seems to agree well with some of the best teachings that have emanated from Johns Hopkins; I am thinking of Dr. R.T. Ely's5 excellent work).

I have written to a cousin of mine in London about Mr. Wallace's personal tastes, as I am quite unwilling to recommend even so eminent a gentleman without previous inquiries.

Mr. Wallace's letters and address are at your service, and I beg leave to add that I wish to avoid the appearance of making suggestions to you.

With our increasing admiration for Johns Hopkins and its honored [sic] President I am

Most sincerely yours, | C. W. Ernst [signature]

The President Gilman


1. Letter heading includes "CYRUS A. PAGE, Publisher", and "C.W. ERNST, Editor".

2. The Beacon was a weekly paper featuring articles on Society, Literature and Entertainment. It was similar in content to the Athenaeum literary magazine published in London (1828-1921), but more radical, being a beacon for socialists.

3. Gilman, Daniel Coit (1831-1908). American educator and academic, served as the first president of Johns Hopkins University for twenty five years 1876-1901. He led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research.

4. A private research university in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Founded in 1876, the university was named after its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist Johns Hopkins (1795-1873).

5. Lowell, Augustus (1830-1900). Businessman and philanthropist from Boston, Massachusetts.

6. A United States educational foundation located in Boston Massachusetts, providing both free public and advanced lectures. It was endowed by a bequest of $250,000 left by John Lowell, Jr. who died in 1836. The first trustee was Lowell's cousin, John Amory Lowell, who administered the trust for more than forty years, and was succeeded in 1881 by his son, Augustus Lowell (see Endnote 5).

7. Ely, Richard Theodore Ely (1854-1943). American economist, author and leader of the Progressive movement who called for more government intervention in order to reform perceived injustices of capitalism, especially regarding factory conditions, compulsory education, child labour and labour unions.

8. Ernst, Carl Willhelm (no dates available). Editor of The Beacon (see Endnote 2).

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