Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP721

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

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 13 September 1904.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


Is busy writing an article. Has looked up the area that Birch will be collecting in and offers advice.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP721.893)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418608
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Wimborne

Sept. 13th. 1904

My dear Fred

Just a few lines as I am very busy, having undertaken to write an article that is wanted immediately.

Your last, of Aug. 22nd. (received Sept. 8.) informed me of your soon returning to P. of Spain & then perhaps to the mountains. Also of the amount of your collection, & sending them off. Also with the little map, which clears up your position perfectly. If the numbers of insects you give are all sent for sale, and are mostly fine specimens and arrive in good order, they should, I think, allowing than only about half are saleable within a year be worth £40 or £50. [Ms burned] [[2]] been collected in a less known place than Trinidad they would be worth (or ought to be) twice that. I have not seen Audra’s book but have read several reviews of it. He was collecting for Mr. Rothschild - I expect mainly Orchids & birds, and I do not expect he got many insects on such a wild journey. Do not therefore trust too much to what he says about insects at Guanaco, or in fact anything he may say from a few short visits unless he staid there some weeks or months each time. But no doubt he can give you a deal of valuable information if he likes. That all depends on what kind of [MS burned] he is. But do not be persuaded <by> him to go to any wild place. [[3]] where there are no Europeans. That may do later after you have had more experience.

I wish to inform you that you did not date your last letter, and I had to look at the post-number. Also you say you are going to stay - "at the old home of my kind hosts near the botanical gardens at P. of Spain ["] - but I have no idea who they were, as your first letter to me was from Sangre Grande, and you only referred to staying at a hotel. I suppose the "kind hosts" to be "Mess. Carr," and that some of them live at P. of Spain, but that is only a guess. But of course you cannot remember what you wrote home & what to me.

I shall be glad to hear [MS burned] [[4]] definite information you get about Guanaco, as regards good collecting facilities. If absolutely in the heart of the forest it is sure to be rich, if there are facilities for getting at the riches - not mere impassable virgin forest - though much may be done there by clearing a few roads & felling a few dozen trees - but you ought to find that already done for you.

Wishing you all good luck | yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. Try and collect all information you can about wet and dry seasons of diff[eren]t parts of the coast or inland. It is often possible to find that they differ so much <tha>t by judicious short journey you can <be> always in a good collecting district.

A.R.W. [signature]

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