Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP753

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch
22 March 1906

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 22 March 1906.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP753.925)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English.

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418766
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Wimborne

March 22nd, 1906

My dear Fred,

I was very glad to get yours of Feb[ruary] 21st., though as I had not heard from you for 6 weeks I concluded that the delay was due to your being at S[outh] Catalina. But alas! it is not so. It is no good saying any thing about it now, as you are bound by circumstances, & must do the best you can. As however you are still collecting -- for Mr Thayer -- I will give you the names of three[?] American buyers. Mr. Levi W. Mengel of the Boys' High School, Reading, Penn[MS torn] is a collector of Butterflies & has 24[MS torn] specimens, but his speciality is[MS torn]] Erycuidae of the World of which he[MS torn] just printed a very elaborate[MS torn] which he has sent me. He[MS torn] be glad to buy[MS torn] [[2]] me that Mr. Andrew G. Wachs 8, Congress Street, Boston, is a wealthy collector of Butterflies -- Also Dr. W. J. Holland, Director of the Carnegie Museum Pittsburg[sic], -- and Prof[essor]. E. J. Owen, University of Wisconsin, are also purchasers. You might therefore go on collecting Trinidad Butt[erflie]s in case these collectors will take sets.

If Mr. Thayer wants only Lepidop[tera]. illustrating mimicry the very lowest price you should charge should be 2/- a specimen, & even that will not pay you nearly so well as Fungi[MS torn] each all around. Good sets[MS torn] mimicking butterflies are worth[MS torn] each at least, the mimickers[MS torn] rare. [[3]]

I am glad you have met Klager. You will see in my last letter that I suggested the idea of your going to the Amazon with him.

I am myself doubtful whether the power of the lamp will much increase the number of moths captured. My lamp was a small common colonial oil lamp, not more than 3 or 4 candle power if so much, yet on the best nights the moths came so quick that I could not have got more had they been ten times as numerous. But there I had no poison bottle & had to catch[MS torn] in net or flat gauze pliers.

I do not think I ever had Orlon's[MS torn] but I do not think you need trouble at all [MS torn] what he or other travellers say[MS torn] [3 words illeg.]. I have[MS torn] the moistest[MS torn] [[3]] enjoyable. Javita is in one of wettest[sic] districts known, so is Sarawak and New Guinea, and Manas[?], yet all are quite enjoyable. It is want of good food, & bad nutrition that causes fevers -- rarely, if ever, the [1 word illeg.] climate. No doubt [1 word illeg.], being now for some years a large business centre some butterfly catchers have been there, but I have never seen the locality named for butterflies & that is a pretty good test. But the great advantage of the place is as a head-quarters in regular communication with Europe, and within easy reach of the foot of the Andes in several directions by native boats -- the cheapest mode of travel[MS torn] all overland travel in the mountains is enormously expensive[MS torn] therefore quite beyond your means.

That brings me to another point. [MS torn] you cannot get to S[outh]. Catalina[MS torn] absolutely determined you[MS torn]

[MS pages end here]

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