Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP5498

Sent by:
William P. Gibbons
Sent to:
John Muir
23 May 1887

Sent by William P. Gibbons, Alameda, California, USA to John Muir [none given] on 23 May 1887.

Record created:
24 January 2014 by Benny, Ruth


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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP5498.6230)

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

Held by:
University Library, University of the Pacific
Copyright owner:
Not in copyright

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5/23, 1887

Dear John2

I am apprised from a lady friend in the east, that she has given a letter of introduction to me from Alfred R Wallace, the celebrated English scientist, who will arrive in S[an]. F[rancisco]. to-day. I have written to to [sic] him, inviting him to lunch on Thursday; to ride up to the Red wood grave yard3 in the P.M. & to be a guest of the Berkeley Club in the evening. Now I want you to come down & join us without fail. If you can come Wednesday evening & stop over night, all the better.

[[2]]4 There is a serene atmosphere pervades the moral & intellectual world, which will be highly conducive to your general health. The proper way to treat English scientific Darwinian metaphysicians is to lend them a pair of convex lenses so that they can see further backwards into the problems of nature, while we lead them over new ground of exploration. If, by any impossibility[?] you cant come, send me a note immediately, so that I may substitute --unwillingly -- some other scientific -- I was going to say cuss, but I wont. If Wallace has preengaged him self we can have our own time. With kind regards to your wife & the doctors family I am

very truly yours | W. P. Gibbons5 [signature]


1. Alameda, California, USA.

2. John Muir, (1838 - 1914), Scottish-born American naturalist.

3. The "grave yard" probably refers to the area mentioned in Wallace, Alfred Russel 1905. My life: A record of events and opinions. London: Chapman and Hall. Volume 2, p. 158: "On Saturday Dr. Gibbons of Alameda, on the Bay of San Francisco, took me for a drive into the foothills to see the remains of the Redwood forest that once covered them, but which had all been ruthlessly destroyed to supply timber for the city and towns around." [http://darwin-online.org.uk/converted/Ancillary/1905_Wallace_A237/1905_Wallace_A237.2.html] [John van Wyhe, ed]

4. "01266[?]" written in pencil in an unknown hand on top right corner, page 2.

5. William P. Gibbons, fl. 1855-1893, curator of geology and mineralogy at the California Academy of Sciences 1855.

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