BATES, Henry Walter (1825-1892). AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, to [Abraham Dee?] Bartlett, on stationary of the Royal Geographical Society, London, 15, Whitehall Place, December 23, 1864.
London, Whitehall Place, 1864. Signed
7x4 ½ inches. 1 page. Signed by Bates. Fine. Written one year after his most important book, The Naturalist on the River Amazons, 1863. ¶ Text: “Dear Bartlett, The name of the ship owners who have regular trade with Pará are / Messrs. Duarte, Potter & Co. / 2 Royal Bank Building, Liverpool. / I hear they have a vessel once a month … - I am at home every evening till Monday … H.W. Bates”. See: Messrs. Edward Potter, Ricardo T Duarte, Samuel W Chaddock, W. E. Potter, 2nd January 1865. See: Estell & Co., The Liverpool Commercial List, 1871-1872, sixth and seventh years. London, 1871. p.3. ¶ “Bates and Wallace sailed from Liverpool in April 1848, arriving in Pará (now Belém) at the end of May. For the first year they settled in a villa near the city, collecting birds and insects. After that they agreed to collect independently, Bates travelling to Cametá on the Tocantins River. He then moved up the Amazon, to Óbidos, Manaus and finally to the Upper Amazon (Solimões). Tefé was his base-camp for four and a half years. His health eventually deteriorated and he returned to Britain, sending his collection by three different ships to avoid the same fate as Wallace. He spent the next three years writing his account of the trip, The Naturalist on the River Amazons, widely regarded as one of the finest reports of natural history travels.” ¶ “Bartlett” is almost surely Abraham Dee Bartlett (1812-1897), the British taxidermist and an expert on captive animals and birds, member of the Zoological Society of London, becoming Superintendent of the Zoological Gardens. Through this position he corresponded with other world naturalists, including especially Charles Darwin. See: A.D. Bartlett & Edward Bartlett, “Biographical notes,” Wild animals in captivity, 1898. ¶ DSB Vol. I, pp. 500-4.