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Letter 2145

Wallace, A. R. to Darwin, C. R.

[27 Sept 1857]

    Summary Add

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    Refers to CD's letter of "May last". ARW's views on order of succession of species are in accordance with CD's.

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    Disappointed that his paper ["On the law which has regulated the introduction of new species", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 2d ser. 16 (1855): 184–96] elicited no discussion; now ARW is trying to prove it. Paper merely states the theory.

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    On black jaguars breeding inter se: ARW has never heard of a parti-coloured one.


of May last, that my views on the order of succession of species were in accordance with your own, for I had begun to be a little disappointed that my paper had neither excited discussion nor even elicited opposition. The mere statement & illustration of the theory in that paper is of course but preliminary to an attempt at a detailed proof of it, the plan of which I have arranged, & in part written, but which of course requires much <research in English> libraries & collections, a labour which I look <missing section of unknown length>

With regard to the black Jaguars always breeding inter se, it is of course a point not capable of proof, but the black & the spotted animals are generally confined to separate localities, & among the hundreds & thousands of the skins which are articles of commerce I have never heard of a particoloured one having occurred. I think there is a difference of form the black being the more slender & graceful animal.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2145.f1
    The date is established by CD's annotation and by his reference in the letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 December 1857, to ‘your letter of Sept. 27th—’.
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    f2 2145.f2
    In his letter to A. R. Wallace, 1 May 1857, CD had praised Wallace's paper ‘On the law which has regulated the introduction of new species’ (Wallace 1855).
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    f3 2145.f3
    CD had inquired about this point in his letter to A. R. Wallace, 1 May 1857.
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