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Category: 3 – Letters to Smith from Captain Richard Crawshay

This folder contains five letters from Captain Richard Crawshay to Frederick Smith. The first letter was written from Tierra del Fuego, where Crawshay was collecting animal specimens. The subsequent letters date from over two years later, after Crawshay has returned to Britain, and is staying with his brother in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. The letters mostly relate to Crawshay’s book ‘The Birds of Tierra del Fuego’, and him assisting Smith’s interest in the ‘Ona’ tribe [Selk’nam indigenous people] of Patagonia.

1 – Letter to Smith from Richard Crawshay, Useless Bay [Inutil Bay], Tierra del Fuego, [Chile], 29 Jan 1905

Crawshay writes to Smith about his arrival at Punta Arenas five months previously and journey to Tierra del Fuego during the severe winter. He mentions collecting birds, including some species described by Charles Darwin, and some insects and mammals (including the guanaco)…

2 – Letter to Smith from Richard Crawshay, Melchbourne Vicarage, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, 19 Oct 1907

Crawshay writes to congratulate Smith on his promotion [to Director General of the Army Veterinary Service], and mentions that he thought of Smith when he read about the desecration of Paul Kruger’s grave. Crawshay writes that he is working hard on research for his forthcoming book ‘The Birds of Tierra del Fuego’,…

3 – Letter to Smith from Richard Crawshay, Melchbourne Vicarage, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, 5 Nov 1907

Crawshay writes to thank Smith for his compliments on an excerpt of his book, and discusses book binding. Crawshay recommends books on the subject of anthropology, and mentions the Ona tribe [Selk’nam indigenous people] of Patagonia. He suggests that Smith contact [Charles Hercules] Read, Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography at the British Museum,…

4 – Letter to Smith from Richard Crawshay, Melchbourne Vicarage, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, 14 Nov 1907

Crawshay writes to say he is sorry for missing Smith on his visit to London. He suggests some sources on the Ona tribe [Selk’nam indigenous people] of Patagonia, and encloses a list of texts suggested by Charles Hercules Read, Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography at the British Museum. Crawshay writes that he has read Smith’s chapter on ‘Animal Heat’…

5 – Letter to Smith from Richard Crawshay, Melchbourne Vicarage, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, 3 Dec 1907

Crawshay writes to say that he has not yet visited London again, due to suffering a bout of malarial fever. He mentions that he sympathises with [Richard?] Burton, whose life he is reading an account of. He recommends that Smith read about the surveying voyages of the ‘Adventure’ and the ‘Beagle’ by Robert Fitzroy…

6 – Calling card for Captain Richard Crawshay, Reserve of Officers: late Inniskilling Dragoons

This item includes the calling card of Captain Richard Crawshay (dated 13 Dec 1907), pasted to a note about C H Read, Keeper of Ethnology at the British Museum, pasted to the reverse of an invite to Smith and his wife to a country bazaar. Smith has annotated the card ‘I wish I had kept Crawshay’s delightful correspondence during his travels in Patagonia and Australia’…