Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP600

Sent by:
C. S. Williams
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
6 January 1913

Sent by C. S. Williams, 132 Stow Hill, Newport, Wales to Alfred Russel Wallace, [Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset] on 6 January 1913.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.


Asking for housing and employment by ARW; experience as clerk at the Colonial Training Homestead in Surrey; wishing Alfred Russel Wallace a happy (90th) birthday.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP600.600)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/8/129
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the C. S. Williams Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




132 Stow Hill, Newport

Mon. Jan 6th 1913.

To:- Alfred Russell Wallace Esq-- O.M., LL.D., D.C.L., F.R.S.,

"Old Orchard"-- Broadstone-- Wimborne-- Dorset


Will you kindly pardon a youths temerity; in seeking your counsel; and--if possible--your help?

I am just twenty one years of age, have acquired, only a very limited amount of education, and have had no special training--with the exception of some four years intermittent experience, principally in the capacity of a clerk.

I am at present without employment, and for see very little prospects of being able to earn a decent living (with my present trivial accomplishments in dear old England); and I lack the primary means to enable migration to a less congested colony. Moreover, I possess a tendency to physical invalidation, which <has?> me (somewhat) from the labour[sic] market. On the other hand, I am fairly alive, can carry out instructions thoroughly and carefully, and am not quite devoid of tact & initiative, when required to exercise my own discretion.

I dislike business pursuits, and during the Summer of 1911--was temporarily, employed at a Colonial Training Homestead, in Survey[?], where I acted as clerk and factotum[?] to, a Doctor [1 word illeg.], the Principle, and where I also awaited[?] myself of the opportunity of working, as a student, with a view to colonizing.

[[2]] Since having Dr. Bertoloni, I have been irregularly, employed--by a local branch of [1 word illeg.]--checking general cargo; but I lost this situation through no fault of my own, and am in search of a more congenial thankful[?] vocation. I fear I have never got over the birds nesting stage, and I have always had a most ardent desire to dwell and obtain my living, in the country. I am not religious, in the usually accepted sense of the word, but I certainly have no desire to enrich myself at the expense of my fellow being; nevertheless I have a very decided objection to becoming the tool of less scrupulous individuals, whatever may be the primary inducements. Would you, Sir, please be so kind as to offer me a home, and teach me such knowledge as will enable me to earn an independent existence? It is a great deal to ask of a stranger, I admit; but my excuse is, that I do not ask, what I would not gladly give. If you can befriend me in the way I suggest, I would gladly render such services as I am capable of, in action. I may mention that I can write very rapidly, type, and have had some experience of copying and revising manuscript, for publication. I gather that you are a practical land surveyor, and, considering my physique and love of outdoor pursuits; I should imagine this to be an ideal occupation, for one (possessed) of my temperament.

Personally, I find no use for intoxicants or tobacco, have no objection to [2 words crossed out and illeg.] [[3]] a non flesh diet, if necessary; and the only luxuries[?] for which I crave are time and facilities[?], for mental and physical improvement.

Unfortunately, my poor father is an inebriate (himself in various very precarious pernicious circumstances) and I, myself, am literally on the verge of [1 word illeg.]. I am in need of change and rest; [one word illegible crossed out] being in an ill nurtured condition, but as far as I can ascertain [1 word crossed out and illeg.] not infected with pulmonary phthisis.

Except that I am not very well clad, I know of no other reason, why any gentleman should object to my presence; and I think I can satisfy you as to my bona fides and integrity; if you feel any interest in my welfare.

I must apologize for my selfish obtrusion, and for having trespassed on much on your valuable time. In conclusion, may I, none the less sincerely, prematurely, wish you many happy returns of the date on wh anniversary of your birth day?

Believe me, (in haste) | very truly-- | and respectfully-- Yours | C.S. Williams [signature]

P.S. If you feel you can help me, will you kindly reply soon; if not, will you please pass my letter on to anyone whom you think, may do so?

C.S.W. [signature]

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