Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
The Shape of the Earth. (S248ab: 1875)
  Our Late Interview with Mr. Hampden in the Gaol.
  Letter from Mr. Wallace

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 4 of the 26 February 1875 issue of The Chelmsford Chronicle (Chelmsford). To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S248AB.htm


    Mr. Wallace having seen the report of our interview with Mr. Hampden, in the Chelmsford Chronicle of Friday last, writes to us as follows:--

To the Editor of the Chelmsford Chronicle.

    Sir,--In your issue of to-day (February 19th) you give an account of an interview with Mr. Hampden, in which you represent him as saying, that, on the referees disagreeing:--"Mr. Wallace, instead of writing for an umpire to be called in, rushed off at once to the editor of the Field, 100 miles away, and stating he had won, received the 1000." This statement is too absurd on the face of it to be accepted by any thinking person, but as it may be supposed to contain some portion of truth, I beg to refer you to the account of what really took place as given by Mr. Hampden's own referee, Mr. Carpenter, in his pamphlet, "Water not Convex" (p. 22), published soon after the experiment:

    "It is now Friday, the 11th. I received two letters: one is from Swindon, and the other from the Strand. Mr. Walsh writes as follows:--'My dear Sir,--I am now authorised in writing by Mr. Hampden to settle the matter in dispute between you and Mr. Coulcher, as umpire. Will you therefore forward me to Little Comberton, Pershore, your report together with your diagrams, or copies of them? I shall leave there on Wednesday morning after post-time. I propose to come to some decision, either final or otherwise, next Friday, at one p.m., when you can be present here if you like to support your opinions. . . Yours, in haste. J. H. Walsh.' Mr. Hampden, in his letter, says:--'I am sure we shall get it right at last. I inclose you a note received from Mr. Wallace this morning. I sent him a memorandum empowering Mr. Walsh to consult with both referees or with any others he may choose to add to them.' Mr. Wallace says, in a letter submitted to me by Mr. Hampden:--'Dear Sir,--In accordance with your letter of yesterday, I inclose a memorandum authorising Mr. Walsh to act in the manner you suggest, which, if you see nothing requiring alteration, please to sign and send to him,' and so on. Thus it is clearly settled that the whole thing--the money and all--is at the disposal of the editor of The Field. And it is a responsibility not to be lightly esteemed! May Mr. Walsh prove himself to be 'the right man in the right place.'"

    The italics in the above extract are my own, to direct attention to the essential facts; and Mr. Hampden will, I have no doubt, be glad to send you a copy of the pamphlet itself, by which you can verify the quotation.

ALFRED R. WALLACE.
Grays, February 19th, 1875.


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