Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP720

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch
29 August 1904

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 29 August 1904.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


Is using a sketch of Trinidad to track Birch and discusses collecting and dispatch of Birch's first collection to Janson.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP720.892)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418605
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Wimborne

August 29th. 1904

My dear Fred

Yours of the 11th. received the 25th. I am sorry you wasted time on he Armadillo wh[ich] is sure to be a very common sp[ecies]. But why did you not make a skeleton of it. That the mus[eum] w[oul]d most likely want. The big [1word illeg.] is I think a very common S. Am<erican> sp[ecies] at Para & elsewhere. Am glad you are going to another place - Tabaquite. But again, you do not give even a hint of the direction from Sangre Grande - or the distance or the height! I enclose a small sketch of Trinidad, with the only Railway marked on my map, and the position of Sangre Grande as I suppose it to be. If you have no better map mark Tabaquite on this and return it. <If> you have a larger map please send me a tracing showing the position of your new place, and your last place at the [MS burned] to Sangre Grande, and tell me approximate heights &c. &c.

How was I to know of the dispute with the Venezuelan govt. & American comp[any]? It <is> not quite so important to Englishmen as the War in the East! Having seen the manager, you <do> not tell me what he said about the dry season or about the amount of paths & roads, [MS burned] [[2]] surrounding forests or how near are there any Indian villages - the three most important things as regards collecting, & therefore the three most interesting things for me. Neither have you told me when the dry season begins at Tabaquite or in other parts or Trinidad, how long it lasts &c. whether there are any differences in diff[erent] parts of the Island &c., all of which you must surely know by this time but of which you have not said a word!

Of course when I so strongly recommended Venezuela, it was on the supposition that the Am[erican] Company was a fixture there and quite free from Govt. interference. If there is any chance of a row, it might be better to give it up after the dry season begins to wane, or to get too dry & go off to Georgetown, and the missionaries on the East Coast, or any where also that seems suitable.

I suppose you are now getting into the way of regular work, and I hope you find no more difficulty in drying & preserving your specimens. You do not say that you received mine enclosing one from Prof. Poulton, with very useful hints about [[3]] the danger of storing [1 word illeg.] boxes, &c. and also Cockerell’s remarks about moths bees &c. being better unset. I presume you will soon be sending off your first collections to Janson so as to have some funds to go on with. If you do, insure them for full value against sea-risk. It costs a mere trifle.

I am very busy just now, beginning to move numerous trees & shrubs, & also having no end of letters & people sending me books, pamphlets, m[anu]s[cript]s &c. &c. to give them advice &c., so I can write no more now, till I hear from you with some of the real information I have been asking for.

With best wishes | Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. You headed your letter - c/o Mr. Carr, so I suppose he [MS burned] forward to you.

A.R.W. [signature]

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