Transcribe Ward, Henry A. Letter to Dewey, Chester (1857-03-21)

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I have much work before me to label & pack to America these collections from my trip & others -all of which together fill two large rooms so full that they have actually overflowed into all the bureau drawers & closet shelves of the third room in which I live! The time which I have devoted to this class of labour for the past year has undoubtedly been a great drawback to my studies but I can not but think it on the whole desirable when I consider the other advantages which I have been able to procure merely by the aid </s of >(pecuniarily) of such collection. With the present state of my purse I can hope for little more than to get safely back to America in the early part of the summer. I shall feel very sorry to not have visited Switzerland with its glaciers & its striking physical scenery, & especially to not be able to spend a month or 6 weeks at London in the British Museum of the Royal Geological Society, and at least six weeks more in travelling upon the most interesting geological paths in England, Scotland & Wales. I see clearly & certainly how I could accomplish this </u without involving my future to the extent of one single dollar >, had I only the ready money to invest in the undertaking. I expect to write to Uncle Levi upon this subject next week & I would prefer making him & yourself Sir, my sole confidants in the matter. Should I be aided to do this I should not reach home before the month of September. In case I go </u thus > to England I shall be only too happy to procure for yourself & Prof. Weed (please, Sir, present him my respects) a box of fossils from the "Old Red", which you request. I should like to know exactly the class of fossils which you would prefer (those most characteristic?) as also the sum to invest. This latter you would be as good as to hand to </u Mother > instead of sending it to me. I shall be most happy, Sir, if you will please accept for your collection the [o. gigantenus] & the [H. pomatial (singater)]which I sent in the box.