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Darwin Correspondence Project

To P. L. Sclater   29 December 1880

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

December 29th 1880

My dear Mr Sclater

I earnestly hope that the enclosed Memorial will meet with your approval, & if it does, that you will sign it. There will be only a few other signatures, Mr Bates (as his co-traveller in Amazonia) Hooker, Huxley & self.1 The Duke of Argyll has written to Mr Gladstone about this—2 As you will see most of the men have appended their offices, & this looks more imposing(!) & therefore, I think, you had better add yours, but of this you will be a better judge than I can be.—3 No time shd be lost, so please put the Memorial in enclosed envelope & post it at once; or if you are in Hanover Sqe, could you send it by messenger.?4

I feel a very deep interest in the success of the Memorial.

Believe me, my dear Mr Sclater | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The memorial was for a government pension for Alfred Russel Wallace. It has not been found, but there is a draft of it in DAR 196: 3; for a transcription, see Appendix VI. Henry Walter Bates had travelled to the Amazon with Wallace in 1848; Wallace returned to England in 1852 while Bates remained until 1859. Joseph Dalton Hooker and Thomas Henry Huxley were to be the last to sign.
See letter to G. D. Campbell, [before 27 December 1880]. George Douglas Campbell, eighth duke of Argyll was a member of the government (lord privy seal), so could not sign the memorial, which was to be presented to the prime minister, William Ewart Gladstone.
CD had explained that the plan was to have only a few signatures of eminent men such as presidents of scientific societies (see letter to Albert Günther, 27 December 1880).
The Zoological Society of London, of which Sclater was president, had its headquarters in Hanover Square.


Asks PLS to sign the memorial for a pension for Wallace.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Philip Lutley Sclater
Sent from
Source of text
Wellcome Collection (MS.7781/1–32 item 18)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12953,” accessed on 13 July 2024,