WCP2007

Letter (WCP2007.1897)

[1]1

29 Bloomsbury Sq W.C.

May 19th 1864.

My dear Sir,

When I thanked you for your little pamphlet2 the other day, I had not read it. I have since done so with great interest. Its leading idea is, I think, undoubtedly true, and of much importance towards an interpretation of the facts. Though I think that there are some purely physical modifications that may be shown to result from the direct influence of civilization; yet I think it is quite clear, as you point out, that the small [2] amount of physical differences that have arisen between the various human races, are due to the way in which mental modifications have served in place of physical ones.

I hope you will pursue the enquiry. It is one in which I have a direct interest; since I hope, hereafter, to make use of its results.

Sincerely yours | Herbert Spencer [signature]

A pencil annotation at the upper left-hand corner page 1 adds 'Sent to Biographer'.

Wallace, A. R. 1864. The Origin of Human Races and the Antiquity of Man Deduced from the Theory of "Natural Selection". London.

Note. I could not find any full bibliographical reference to the scarce 1864 pamphlet publication which ARW sent to Herbert Spencer. Charles Smith S93. records all article versions, and later pamphlet publications (1882&1886), but does not reference this particular 1864 pamphlet publication. The NY Times 22 Jan 1865 reviews the 1864 pamphlet but does not note publishing details. See: https://www.nytimes.com/1865/01/22/archives/the-origin-of-human-races.html?mtrref=www.google.com

MGB.

Published letter (WCP2007.6269)

[1] [p. 18]

29 Bloomsbury Square, W.C1 May 19, 1864.

My dear Sir, — When I thanked you for your little pamphlet2 the other day, I had not read it. I have since done so with great interest. Its leading idea is, I think, undoubtedly true, and of much importance towards an interpretation of the facts. Though I think that there are some purely physical modifications that may be shown to result from the direct influence of civilisation, yet I think it is quite clear, as you point out, that the small amounts of physical differences that have arisen between the various human races are due to the way in which mental modifications have served in place of physical ones.

I hope you will pursue the inquiry. It is one in which I have a direct interest, since I hope, hereafter, to make use of its results. — Sincerely yours, | HERBERT SPENCER.

A street in central London.
Wallace, A.R. (1864) 'The Origin of Human Races and the Antiquity of Man deduced from Natural Selection.' Anthropological Society Journal.

Please cite as “WCP2007,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 25 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP2007