Transcription (WCP1269.1048)


1[?] June [1845]1

Dear Brothers,2

Our recent bereavement3 has grieved me much[,] may it make us all live more careful so to live that we may not be afraid to die. we have witnessed in our own family that no age is exempt from death, let us each think dear Alfred that we ourselves may be the next to be called hence to a world from which [2] no traveller has returned to tell us who is right or wrong in our opinions on the subject. let us therefore follow in the steps of those good men who have gone before us, humbly trusting we may be in the right narrow path to everlasting life, — dear William snatched so suddenly from life to eternity! an awful change for the best of us, when we are in the Enjoyment of health we so seldom think that death must come to us allThis is another lesson for us (now reduced from 9 to 4 in family)4 and may we profit by it more than we have done by the many warnings we have had before is the constant prayer of your truly affectionate sister[.] I wish you were all here with me — you might do well in this Country and your scientific Experiments would here be highly prized but I cannot make you come if you are determined to oppose all my arguments — you & John5 could set up as Surveyors Engineers & Builder's [sic] — at Robenson [sic]6 you might buy 12 or 13 acres to begin with then grow corn or cotton[,] after this Build with the assistance of a few men[.]

But I will say no more at present — you have long Known my wishes on the subject — I have had many offers from private families since I left Montpelear [sic]7 but that would not have been independant [sic] enough for me, now, as I am going to be situated I can be my own mistress & help you and live with you too if you come out. There is a fine House given for the school but of course you could not have part of that unless you assisted in it. I am at present to have one room got ready for me to teach in for of course alone I cannot live there. I leave Mr Jackson's8 next week as it is too far from the schoolhouse [3] so am to board in a family near it, I believe Col[o]n[el] Picketts[.]9 I have been introduced to a snug society & I think I shall like it very much. I meet with great kindness, everyone say's [sic] I shall soon get married, but (I say) certainly not yet awhile[.] I shall like to see you both well settled here by my endeavours then I may perhaps think of myself — Everything here looks Green & beautiful and the mornings & evenings are delightful but it is warm in the middle of the day — I will put aside £25 — for your use If this will be any inducement to you[.] I have said much about your coming out, but it is the last time I shall mention it.

Adieu dear Brothers three | F W [signature]10

This letter was written shortly after receiving news of the death of William Greenell Wallace, who died on 9 March 1845, therefore can be dated to that year.
ARW and his surviving brothers John Wallace (1818-1895), engineer and surveyor, and Herbert Edward ("Edward") Wallace (1829-1851), assistant of ARW in Brazil.
Wallace, William Greenell (1809-1845). Brother of ARW; Land Surveyor and Architect, who had died suddenly at Neath on 9 March 1845 (Beccaloni, G. W. 2009. Wallace’s genealogy. The Alfred Russel Wallace Website. <http://wallacefund.info/wallaces-genealogy> [accessed 14 June 2018]).
By 1845, the Wallace family had already lost four other children, Elizabeth Martha (1808-1808), Elizabeth Greenell ("Eliza") (1810-1832), Mary Anne (1814-1822) and Emma (1816-1822) (Beccaloni, G. W. 2009. Wallace’s genealogy. The Alfred Russel Wallace Website. <http://wallacefund.info/wallaces-genealogy> [accessed 14 June 2018]).
Wallace, John (1818-1895). Brother of ARW; engineer and surveyor.
Presumably Robinson Springs, Millbrook, Elmore County, Alabama, USA.
Montpelier Institute, Montpelier Springs, near Macon, Georgia, a school founded in 1841 by the Bishop of Georgia, where ARW's sister had been a teacher (Archives of the Diocese of Georgia. 2010. Montpelier Institute. Archives of the Diocese of Georgia. <http://archives.georgiaepiscopal.org/?page_id=1031> [accessed 20 November 2018]).
Jackson, Absolom (1805-1870). American planter, of 'Mayhew', Coosada, Autauga County (now The Elms, Elmore County), Alabama, USA; host of ARW's sister in Alabama, USA.
Pickett, Albert James (1810-1858). American historian of Alabama; author of Pickett, A. J. 1851. History of Alabama, 2 vols. Charleston, South Carolina, USA: Walker & James; host of ARW's sister in Alabama, USA.
Sims (née Wallace), Frances ("Fanny") (1812-1893). Sister of ARW; teacher.

Please cite as “WCP1269,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 30 November 2023, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP1269