Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP5010

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Thomas Sellar
3 January 1883

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Nutwood Cottage, Frith Hill, Godalming to Thomas Sellar [none given] on 3 January 1883.

Record created:
06 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • publication (1)

View item:


Sellar, Thomas. (1883). The Sutherland Evictions of 1814: Former and Recent Statements Respecting them Examined. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.. [p. lxxxix-xc]

Copyright owner:
Not in copyright

About publication

Transcription information



[[1]]1 [p. lxxxix]

Frith Hill, Godalming: January 3, 1883.

Dear Sir,-- I think you are unreasonable in expecting me to do more than I have done; but I will endeavour to explain precisely my present standpoint.

The jury and the judge acquitted your father of the offences charged against him on a balance of evidence. This the judge expressly stated. I accept that acquittal. But the acquittal does not disprove the facts alleged, only that Mr. Sellar was not responsible for them. I, however, have additional evidence of these facts-- not laid before the jury-- in the narrative of McLeod, and taking the whole together, I am of opinion that the facts of injury done to the people are substantially proved. When there is a conflict of evidence I claim a right to form my own judgment [[2]] [p. xc] -- and I have formed it. I accuse no individual; but I quote a narrative which it appears to me was not invalidated by the conflicting evidence of the trial, and I refuse to conceal what I believe to be important facts of history.

I am sure that no impartial person, looking at the trouble I have taken to take out every possible clue to your father's name (and considering the extreme difficulty of getting a copy of McLeod's pamphlet, the reference to it as an authority is only nominal), will consider that I have published anything 'calumnious.'

I remain

Yours very truly,

Alfred R. Wallace.


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Fifth of six letters from Wallace to Thomas Sellar, concerning Wallace's evaluation of the 1814 Sutherland evictions given in the first edition of Land Nationalisation. All letters originally printed in Sellar's 1883 book The Sutherland Evictions of 1814, all but the first as part of "Appendix VII. Correspondence With Mr. A. R. Wallace." The aggressiveness of Mr. Sellar's pursuit of the issue at hand may be gathered from Wallace's increasingly terse responses.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S368B.htm

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