Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 27 September 1904.
Hopes Birch will be able to spend a few months collecting in the valleys and mountains of the north of Trinidad.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
part of text destroyed
Transcriber: Martinho, Antone
Transcription date: July 8, 2011
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Sept. 27th. 1904
My dear Fred
Yours of Sept. 8th. just arrived - 19 days this time - [MS burned] if I post this today it will go by to-morrow’s mail. What a long while it seems since you started, 6 months ago, and only just getting your first lot of insects off now. But of course you had very bad luck at starting in the wet season. From your description <of> the home at [1 word illeg.] it almost s<eems> as if it might be a better locality th<an> Caparo, but you will see. Your account of the present state of Guanaco renders it, I think, out of the question [MS burned] going there with the chance of being looted [MS burned] reckless Venezuelan officials - justly mad ag<ainst> England for her treatment of them recently.
As you still give no other address than C<arr> I send this the same as Cash, as "Belmont" [MS burned] may not reach you. No you see the gre<at> loss incurred by missing the dry season. I hope you will not stay on at Trinidad [MS burned] you again get to "somewhere on the C[MS burned] in the wet. As Guanaco [1 word illeg.] [MS burned] suppose you will go B. Guiana [MS burned] [] either at the Missionary station on the Marooca River, or at Suddie, or at some old settlement in or near Forest - not at the [1 word illeg.], which I am pretty sure will be less productive, more expansive, and altogether less agreeable and advantageous. As no doubt there are many people in P. of Spain who have lived in B. Guiana you will be able to get accurate information as to those places and about this wet season. According to Chambers Eucye. the dry seasons in B. Guiana are from Aug. to Dec. and from Feb. to April, so that unless you have left within a week or two after writing to me you will again have lost part of the longest of the two fine weather seasons. I see they say that the climate is wetter inland than on or near the Coast, & that [MS burned] another reason why Suddie or <the> missions will be best for you.
[] I told you in my last what I thought your collections must be worth, & on receipt of them Jauson will no doubt send you a small remittance on account. If you shall find the mountains near P. of Spain sufficiently rich in all orders of insects to induce you to stay there two or three months, then it would be well to arrange so as to re<ach> B. Guiana by end of January, so you may get settled in your collect<ing> ground by the very beginning of the short dry season and utilize the whole of it. You have been wonderfully fortunate in your expenditure so far, but if at [MS burned] time within the next year you run out of funds altogether you <may> use my name to get an adva<nce of> £10 or £20 - which, with [MS burned] [] the Governor, will, I have no doubt, satisfy only one of your solvency to that amount. But I hope you will not require it.
From your description of the valleys and mountains of the north of Trinidad I rather hope you will decide to give them three or four months, as you have such nice head quarters to return to, after a week’s collecting at a time, at different <m>ounts. There must [1 word illeg.] be some villages or woodcutters huts, at which you could stay, & I hope some roads and paths. A thorough collector must do well in such a country which I feel sure has never been thoroughly collected yet. Should you get into any mossy districts, will you get a handful <of> moss whenever you see any in fruit& put it <in> your pocket. If wrapped up in paper, it will be useful when packing up your boxes to send home as padding, it will be most interesting to my father in law [MS burned] Mitten, who collects & describes the mosses of the whole world including the Hepatica. Then instruct <Jau>son to send me all these "paddings." Also <if> you come across any bulbous plants on <the moun>tains, you can pack up a few bulbs [MS burned] for me.
[MS burned]erely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
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