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Record number: WCP5131

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
John Morrison ("Morrison") Davidson
10 August 1902

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to John Morrison ("Morrison") Davidson [none given] on 10 August 1902.

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05 March 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Davidson, Morrison. (1902). Scotland for the Scots: Scotland Revisited. Francis Riddell Henderson, London. [p. 93-94]

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[[1]]1 [p. 93]

Dear Mr. Davidson,-- I am now in the position of the man who, when bidden to a feast, said he had "bought a piece of ground," and could not come--for I have bought a piece of ground, and am building a house upon it, and am myself superintending it--and making a new garden--involving joys and troubles and anxieties which perhaps you know not of, and which, added to an ever-increasing correspondence and quantities of books, MSS., &c., sent me by cranks of all kinds--mostly Americans--(as well as by non-cranks), leave me no time for reading anything beyond light literature when tired out with the fatigues of the day. Therefore I am quite unable to read your proofs, but as I am in favour of absolute "Home Rule" for every community,[[2]] [p. 94] however small (or large), which wishes to have it, I can heartily wish you success in claiming "Home Rule" for Scotland.

But, as the majority of Englishmen are, apparently, against permitting it to Ireland, where an overwhelming majority demand it, and have just taken it away from two Republics which were governed much better than we are, how is it likely they will give it to Scotland where, so far as I know, there is no majority and no very strong feeling in its favour? You have first got to convert the Scots, as we have to convert the English--and in this I wish you every success. I believe in "home rule" for every parish even, since they could not all of them make a more deplorable mess of it than England does now, and at all events some would develop really good and just government, and they would show others what could and should be done. Now, we have no such object-lessons, because the ignorant upper 10,000 who are allowed to rule us think--as fools often do--that no one is capable of ruling but themselves.

Really, as I said before, the most important thing is to convert the English, who have got the power, to some little appreciation of elementary justice. Till that is done nothing can be done.--Yours very truly,

Alfred R. Wallace. Parkstone, Dorset, August 10, 1902.


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Printed as an Appendix to Davidson's book Scotland for the Scots: Scotland Revisited.


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/S597A.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.