RECORD: Darwin, C. R. & T. H. Huxley et al. [11-12.1880]. [Draft of] Petition to H M Government regarding a pension for Alfred Russel Wallace. CUL-DAR196.3.1. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 7.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. This draft was first published in Correspondence vol. 28, appendix VI along with an important introduction. Much of the draft is in the hand of Ebenezer Norman. "Norman, Ebenezer, 1835/6-1923. 1854- Schoolmaster at Down and from 1856 and many years thereafter copyist for CD. 1856 Aug. 17 First payment for copying in CD's Account book (Down House MS). Many thereafter. CCD6:444. 1857 CD to Hooker, "I am employing a laboriously careful Schoolmaster". CCD6:443. 1858 CD to Hooker, "I can get the Down schoolmaster to do it [i.e. transcribe] on my return". CCD7:130. 1871 Banker's clerk in Deptford." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)

Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


[1]

Petition for ARW with CD's notes and corrections

(Indelible pencil notes in the hand of Huxley)

[2]

To the Right Hon W. E. W. E. Gladstone M.P. M. P.

First Lord of the treasury First Lord of the Treasury

Sir

We the undersigned beg leave beg leave to lay before you [illeg] before you the following statement in favour of of our request in support of our request that a pension from pension from the Civil List be granted to Civil List be granted to Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace Russell Wallace.)

Mr Norman here a fresh paragraph (In 1848 Mr. Wallace &c

In 1848 Mr. Wallace, urged by his love of natural history, threw up his business as a land-surveyor and architect, and started with Mr. Bates to collect specimens in the basin of the Amazons. He depended for his support on the sale of specimens collected; and on his return voyage the ship was burnt and he lost all his later specimens. Nevertheless he published in 1854 an account of his expedition and some scientific papers. The disastrous loss of his collection led him in 1854 to start for the Malay Archipelago, where he resided on the different islands during eight years, thus exposing his life to great risk from malarious fevers and other dangers. This expedition has added immensely to our scientific knowledge of the archipelago; and will be forever memorable from the light which was then shed on the Geographical Distribution of Animals. A large portion of his Mr Wallace extraordinarily rich collection was purchased by the British Museum. During his stay in this archipelago he sent home many scientific papers for publication, two of which were highly remarkable, viz; that "On the law which has regulated the introduction of new Species," and that "On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type." This latter paper includes the view, which is now commonly called Natural Selection.

In 1869 he published in two volumes his "Malay Archipelago." In 1870 his "Contributions to the theory of Natural Selection"; and in 1878 his "Tropical Nature," were published "The Geographical Distribution of Animals" in two large volumes, which cost him between five and six years hard labour, appeared in 1876, and his "Island Life," an equally valuable book in 1880. He has also published altogether 85 scientific papers.

Everyone will, I believe, admit It is universally universally admitted that Mr. Wallace's works have added greatly to our knowledge of an important

306

[3]

and difficult subject, — namely Geographical Distribution. His essays on the colouring of animals show the extraordinary originality of his mind, and have been the parent of numerous essays by other naturalists.

[4] In the memoir "On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type", the theory now known as that of Natural Selection was developed in a very striking manner by original reasonings, largely based upon Mr Wallace's personal observations. Many men will think that his memoir "On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely &c," is of greater value even than that of his other works.

[4]

contains a statement on original genera the theory now known as that of 'Natural Selection' was developed in a completely original & very striking manner by original reasonings based upon his own ob largely based upon his own Mr Wallace's observations Nor must be the vast number of new terrestrial animals of all classes which he discovered be forgotten.

On his return home from the Malay Archipelago he Mr Wallace endeavoured to obtain some scientific post. He was almost promised by Sir G. Grey the curatorship of the East London Museum, but lost this chance by the Museum being converted into a picture-gallery. He failed to obtain the superintendence of Epping Forest, though he was backed supported by almost all the more eminent naturalists in England; and he has since tried for other offices, but has failed chiefly on account of his age. His published works have produced, as may be inferred from their titles, but small profit, and one of the most valuable hardly any profit. He realised some few thousand pounds  

For some years he has largely depended on miscellaneous literary work for the support of his family. But at his present age of 58, with health weakened by long tropical exposure, Mr. Wallace naturally finds the labour increasingly difficult, while the necessity of doing such work renders almost impossible the continuance of these purely scientific investigations, from which, judging of the future by the past, such important results might be expected

[4]

For some years he has But at his present age of 58 with health weakened by tropical exposure Mr. Wallace naturally finds the labour thus imposed upon him increasingly difficult; which the necessity of doing such work, renders almost impossible the continuance of those purely scientific investigations, which from which, judging of the future by the past, so much original important such important results might be expected

 

by the sale of his Malay collections, part of which he has lost by disadvantage his investments; and he has for some time largely depended on miscellaneous literary work for the support of his family. This he finds very difficult at his present age of 58 and with his health weakened by tropical exposure. The necessity of such work has, also, seriously interfered with his scientific investigations; and will do so for the future in a still greater degree. –


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