Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP5537

Sent by:
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent to:
Charles Robert Darwin
26 November 1880

Sent by Joseph Dalton Hooker, [none given] to Charles Robert Darwin [none given] on 26 November 1880.

Record created:
27 May 2014 by Benny, Ruth


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Record contains:

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LETTER (WCP5537.6295)

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

Held by:
Imperial College London
Finding number:
Huxley Collection 5.349
Copyright owner:
Reproduced with kind permission of members of the Hooker family
Record scrutiny:
27/05/2014 - Benny, Ruth;

Physical description

Transcription information




[No address]

Nov[ember] 26 / [18]802

Dear Darwin3

Huxley4 spoke to you yesterday about the [1 word illeg.] <memorial> for Wallace, which you proposed to me not very long ago, & which we both thought at the time would be a hopeless attempt under the circumstances of his Spiritualism5, & the fact that he had obtained £500 by the bet on the sphericality of the Globe6. --

H[uxley]. tells me that the [2 words illeg.] are the other way, [[2]] for that I believe he gave the money to a charity: & if this is so, which I have no reason to doubt, though he certainly has the credit if the contrary -- there remains only the Spiritualism: which should not I think be any objection to [1 word illeg.] his claim, -- though I am doubtful as to whether it should not[?] be mentioned privately to the Minister. I am writing to Huxley to this effect. [[3]]7 i e. seeking[?] his opinion.

I need not add that if you & he think decide I will follow it as very best[?]

Ever aff[ectionately]. y[ou]rs | J. D. Hooker8. [signature]


1. Page numbered 349 in pencil in top RH corner. The number "1.61" encircled, in pencil appears to the left of the page number and below that, "1880" is also written in pencil. The word "copy" with an arrow pointing to the word "Darwin" is written in pencil above the salutation. The page is stamped "Imperial College Huxley Collection" in the top LH corner.

2. Year deduced from birth and death dates of author.

3. Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882). English naturalist and writer, with ARW originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection and author of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

4. Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895) English biologist (comparative anatomist), philosopher and advocate of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.

5. Wallace, A. R. (1875) On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism: Three Essays London, James Burns.

6. In 1870 John Hampden set a public challenge for proof of the rotundity of the earth. He offered the sum of £500 with £500 to be staked by a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, with the £1000 to be deposited in a bank and paid on the result of the experiment. ARW accepted the wager, and won the bet.

7. Page numbered 350 in pencil in top RH corner. "Huxley" and "XLVIII" is written in red ink to the left at the top of the page.

8. Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817-1911). British botanist and explorer and founder of geographical botany. He succeeded his father William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) as Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew on his death and held the post for 20 years.

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