1904 ALS by William Louis Abbott, American Field Naturalist in Singapore.

Trapping mammals and an excursion to islands off Sumatra


Letter from Singapore written by American naturalist, University of Pennsylvania graduate, William Louis Abbott (1860–1936) discussing the purchase of animal traps.

Trained as a physician, Abbott spent over 40 years exploring the world and collecting natural history specimens, notably from the islands and coasts of Southeast Asia.

Writing to an unnamed colleague or assistant, Abbott discusses his banking situation and asks for help in ordering traps for his field work:

I have found my old catalogue of Oneida traps. Can you send me the following ... Three Bear Traps no. 15 Newhouse with chains & offset jaws. Also 4 setting clamps for same. One dozen no. 4 Newhouse beaver traps, with chains. Six dozen Schuyler’s folding rat killer no. 1. Bloomsburg, Penna. This last is the best trap for rats & small mammals in this part of the world.

In 1899, Abbott built a boat, the Terrapin, and began to use Singapore as a base for exploration. Over the next ten years he explored widely in Southeast Asia including the Andaman Islands, Burma, Malaysia, Borneo, and islands in the South China and Java Seas.

Abbott’s letter make reference to a visit to islands off the coast of Sumatra: “I am about leaving for a cruise to Banka [Banga] & Billiton [Belitung], & will be back in Singapore about October 1st.”


Description: 1904 ALS by William Louis Abbott, American Field Naturalist in Singapore.

Singapore, May 5, 1904. [1]p. Autograph Letter Signed. 4to. Folds and creases; a few perforations and a few instances of ink burn, not affecting sense; good.

[3726468]

Price: $100.00