Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP5360

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Othniel Charles Marsh
23 January 1886

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Nutwood Cottage, Frith Hill, Godalming to Othniel Charles Marsh [none given] on 23 January 1886.

Record created:
02 July 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Record contains:

  • letter (2)

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LETTER (WCP5360.6081)

A typical letter typewritten  in English.

Enclosed and sent with WCP4854.

Held by:
Special Collections, The John Hopkins University
Finding number:
Daniel Coit Gilman Papers, Ms. 1, Box 1.50
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information





Frith Hill, Godalming

January 23rd, 1886.

Dear Professor Marsh,2

Circumstances have led me to contemplate a visit to the United States next autumn on a lecturing tour round the world, and I think it probable that you are as well able as any-one to give me advice as to the prospects of my making it a financial success. I think when I had the pleasure of seeing you in London some years back you suggested something of the kind, but what has led me to entertain it now is, that I have received an invitation to lecture in Sydney and am advised by friends here to go by way of America. You are perhaps aware that of late years I have devoted myself more to social and political questions than to Nat[ural]. Hist[ory]. and if I came, I should be prepared to lecture on the Land Question and on Trade Depression as well as on my special Nat[ural] Hist[ory] subjects- Colour in Nature and Island Life. Serious losses of late years have rendered it necessary for me to do anything in my power to secure a provision for my family, and it is this consideration alone that would make me encounter the risks and fatigue of such a journey at my age and with my somewhat precarious health. I consider it essential that I should avoid the severity of your Eastern winter and spring, and I therefor propose (if I come at all) to come as early in the autumn as it is possible to secure audiences for lectures in Boston, New York, and the other important [[2]] [some part of the letter missing] ter and proceed by the southern route to California, lecturing in S.Francisco, Sacramento &c. in winter and spring. I should cross to N.Zealand in April or May,-- to Australia in June to September,-- Cape of Good Hope, October to December, and then home.

Perhaps you will kindly inform me whether you think lectures from me would be successful, or if you can refer me to any good authority on the question, and also as to the choice of a good and trustworthy Agent on which I am informed so much depends.

Believe me, | Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace.



1. This typewritten copy is stamped as the property of The Johns Hopkins University.

2. American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh (1831 - 1899).

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