Characterisation, especially by Letters 499 42, RUTLAND GATE, LONDON. May 30, 1903.
DEAR MRS GARDINER, Your letter of Feb. 23 reached my house while I was away for the winter. Now that I have returned, let me thank you very much for the enclosure of Winifred Palmer's, act. 6 years, prints. They will do very well, but perhaps as the years go by you will kindly let me have another set when she is older and becomes more submissive to the printer. I should also be very glad of future prints of the other children so far as you can easily get them. There are sure to be some useful points of comparison, which can be utilised. Now to show my "gratitude" (in the cynical sense given to that word, of a "lively hope of future favours"), let me tell you my present needs. I am taking up finger-prints again, from a new and hopeful point of view and send printed papers by this post to explain. You will see that I want two things, of which the second includes the first:
(1) Prints of the two forefingers of many adults in quadruplicate and rolled.
(2) Prints as above of batches of relatives of all ages.
The circular speaks of a small outfit that would be willingly sent to those desirous of helping, but I hardly know how to send this to America at a reasonable cost. However I will make a trial, believing them to fall under the head of "Printed paper" (etc. or, ?) "Samples."
The tin box is this size. [Here follows a sketch of the box in plan and section, showing red india-rubber inker and tube of ink. Enclosed with the letter was a circular of instructions and explanations concerning a "Proposed Collection of Finger-Prints. By Francis Galton."]
It can be passed in England as a letter, in a "safe-transit" envelope, together with forms, and a printed envelope to return it, all for two-pence, in fact they only just exceed the 12d. stamp. So I can send them readily in this country, if not abroad also. But you have the printing outfit, so would not want one for your own use, even if what I now send miscarries. I should indeed be greatly obliged for help in making the necessary collection. The problems, which it ought to assist in solving, are of high importance and the attempts I have recently made, with such limited material as I possess, give much hope.
Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
The envelope enclosed in the packet-for return-is not stamped because I possess no American postage stamps.
[Pursuant to request contained in this letter I obtained prints of a considerable number of relatives-parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, double-cousins, etc. in both branches of my own family, and sent them to Mr Galton in the books with which he provided his contributors. M. G. 0.]
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 16, 1907.
MY DEAR MRs GARDINER, It is grievous to me that I shall miss seeing you and your daughter. I leave London on Aug. 1 for the country, my precise address there being Yaffles, Hind head, Haslemere, Surrey, a house which I have rented for six weeks (the extraordinary word "Yaflle" means in the Surrey patois a "green woodpecker").
I have laid finger-printing aside now, as it thrives and flourishes in Scotland Yard, our centre of prison administration, but for all that I think something more might be done in classification.
The series of finger-prints of your daughter will remain a classic in the history of the science. It stands quite alone in its completeness from the first week of life-even from the day* of birth-to girlhood.
I may have occasion to run up to town for a day and if so will certainly endeavour to see you if you will send me your London address. Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Don't call me I'Dr" please-I hate the epithet, except on formal occasions.
[In my daughter's 13th year we visited for a few weeks her father's relatives in Scotland and England, spending a short time in London before we sailed for home. I hoped to be able to call upon Dr Galton, whom I had never seen, and wrote to him shortly before we went up to London, but because of his absence from town failed to meet him. M. G. 0.]
"This is not quite accurate--I sat up and took the first prints of my daughter on the sixth day after her birth. M. G. 0.