Wallace had a dramatic eureka moment while living on the island of ternate in the moluccas (now indonesia) he wrote up an essay which he sent, incredibly, to charles darwin who had not yet published his own very similar theory conceived many years earlier wallace's essay was published together with an essay by. Selection to the receipt by darwin of wallace's essay from ternate in the spring of 1858, and the subsequent reading of the wallace and darwin papers at the linnean society on 1 july 1858 in the events of 1858 wallace and darwin are typically seen as central players, with darwin's friends charles lyell. The linnean 2013 volume 29(2) 25 while recovering from an attack of malaria in ternate, mollucas, sometime in early march 1858, wallace sent a letter to darwin with an essay “on the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type” the original letter and essay have not been found (burkhardt, et al. Like darwin, he also read thomas malthus's an essay on the principle of population , which also influenced his thinking a painstaking study of 1858 postal connections, published at the end of 2011, retraced the 77-day journey of wallace's packet to darwin, from ternate to down house, including a brief trip on the. Davies makes much of the post date of the paper being march 9 and not april 5 as claimed by john van wyhe and kees rookmaaker in their paper, “a new theory to explain the receipt of wallace's ternate essay by darwin in 1858” according to davies, darwin likely received the letter on june 3 and not. Recent debates on the mailing date of alfred russel wallace's 'ternate essay' to charles darwin in the spring of 1858 have ignored certain details that, once taken into account, alter the matter considerably here, a closer look is taken at the critical question of whether wallace's manuscript-accompanying.
Wallace's letter and essay proposing a theory of evo- lution by means of natural selection, posted at ternate in the moluccas in the spring of 1858, arrived at darwin's home on 18 june 1858, and not 2 weeks before as has been claimed previously (mckinney 1972 brackman, 1980 brooks, 1984 davies, 2008) charles. An essay by mr wallace, entitled “on the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type”2 this was written at ternate in february 1858 , for the perusal of his friend and correspondent mr darwin, and sent to him with the expressed wish that it should be forwarded to sir charles lyell. Late in 2011, dr john van wyhe and kees rookmaaker sought to re-investigate this thorny issue in an article they published in the biological journal of the linnean society a new theory to explain the receipt of wallace' ternate essay by darwin in 1858 (2012, 105, pp 249-252) they put forth an.
In chapter 4 i compared the key evolutionary ideas of wallace and darwin as reflected in their respective writings as of the late 1850s, alluding only briefly to the circumstances surrounding the receipt and publication by darwin of wallace's ternate essay in this chapter i explore this issue more deeply, offering a brief. Wallace was inspired if the sarawak paper had impressed the great lyell, perhaps the new ternate essay would impress him too perhaps wallace could even convince lyell that his own principles actually supported, rather than contradicted, evolution so wallace sent his essay to darwin, whom he knew to be preparing a. In 1858, darwin received a letter from wallace, written on the island of ternate in indonesia it included an essay in which wallace described a theory of evolution that he had developed, which he asked darwin to pass on to noted geologist charles lyell darwin's accusers claim that he waited two weeks to.
Editor charles h smith's note: this is the famous ternate essay introducing natural selection that wallace sent to charles darwin in march of 1858 this paper, along with excerpts from two unpublished writings by darwin, was read before a special meeting of the linnean society of london on 1 july 1858, and published. Abstract in early 1858, when he was in the moluccas, wallace drafted an essay to explain evolution by natural selection and posted it to darwin for many years it was believed that the ternate essay left the island in march on the monthly mail steamer, and arrived at down house on 18 june 1858 darwin. Darwin has been accused of keeping the essay secret for a fortnight, thereby enabling him to revise elements of his theory of evolution we intend to show that wallace in fact sent the ternate essay on the mail steamer of april 1858, for which the postal connections actually indicate the letter to have arrived.
From january 1858, alfred russel wallace made the dutch controlled island of ternate his principle residence and base for the next three years, while he embarked on collecting something led me to think of malthus's essay on population and 'positive checks' – war, disease, famine, accidents etc. There was some higher law of nature responsible for this but it was the opposite of an adaptive law it was a law that formed structures that were superfluous to describe wallace as seeking a mechanism for evolutionary change is to apply an anachronistic perspective to wallace's pre-ternate essay and pre-origin thinking.