Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP726

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

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 6 December 1904.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP726.898)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418628
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Wimborne

Dec. 6th 1904

My dear Fred

I was glad to have your letter last week informing me of receipt of £10 from Jauson. I shall probably near through Poulton who buys, from your moths &c. & at what prices.

I do not think your "warm [MS burned]<"> plan would get out the wood dust from beetles. IT will be the fine dust that gets into the joints, under the [1 word illeg.], in the mouth parts, on the hairy torso &c. I think you should sift out all the fine stuff through h[MS burned] gauge of your nets, using o[MS burned] the coarse, & moistening th<em> thoroughly with some [MS burned] [[2]] so that no more dust [1 word illeg.] off - I am anxiously waiting to hear if the dry season has begun yet & its effect on butterflies.

Have you turned over masses of the dead leaves when wet, to hunt for beetles? I found quantities that way at the beginning of the rains. Also rotten fruit as baits. But you should be cutting trees down now somewhere in the nearest tree forest, & also in good large new growth near your house, so as to have places ready directly the weather becomes sunny. No doubt you can [MS burned] permission.

[[3]] I am making inquiries about the best collecting district in Eastern S. Am. for you to go to when you leave Trinidad, & next mail will give you the result.

I think I have got at a splendid district, more promising in every way than B. Guiana.

I have been reading some of my old letters from the Malay Arch[ipelago],to Bates, & home, - and looking through my notes &c. I am amazed to see how very few good [[4]] collecting places I ever found. How many utterly poor and heart-breaking, even though in magnificent forest-country! On the whole, I really do not think I had more than two years really good insect-collecting out of my eight years in the East, and certainly not more than one year of my four in the Amazon! That shows the immense importance of seeking for good localities in a good district.

More next time - Am busy and got a bad cold.

Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.