A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Benny, Ruth
Transcription date: April 15, 2014
Signed off: no
Frith Hill, Godalming
Dec[cembe]r. 7th 1887
Prof[essor]. Max Weber.
I am afraid I can give no additional information about Flores1. From what I know myself of the adjacent islands & from what Chalres Allen2 told me Flores is probably one of the most difficult and disagreeable islands to travel in, of the whole Archipelago. There are no roads whatever, very few villages or settlements occupied by Malay or other traders, and a great difficulty of obtaining food & necessaries. The vegetation is thorny[?], the surface rugged with [] volcanic rocks, and I apprehend the only mode of exploring it would be by circumnavigating it in a native or other vessel and ascending very navigable rivers that may be formed.
I very much doubt if the results in collections would repay you, I believe the best way to visit & explore these & other little known islands in the Archipelago would be by means of a small steam-yacht which, if laden with a good supply of the usual trade goods, & with an experienced Captain, might pay all its expenses by trading, while it would carry two or three collections in different branches of Natural [] History. Then when a good locality was found the collections might remian on shore while the vessel returned with its cargo to Java or to Signapore, bringing back needful stores of provision &c. for the naturalists. In this way much time would be saved, and while a great extent of country might be visited the best localities could be throughly explored. I have not heard of Charles Allen for several years but he is probably still living in th vicinity of Signapore managinf some plantations as he was when I last heard of him. A letter addressed to him at Signapore [] might possibly find him, but it would be safer to make enquires through some of the Singapore Merchants who are no doubt in relation with some Amsterdam houses.
Believe me | Yours faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
1. Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an island arc with an estimated area of 14,300 km2 extending east from the Java island of Indonesia.
2. Chalres Allen, Wallace's assistant in the Malay Archipelago.
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