Papers concerning Freer's art collecting activities, including correspondence, diaries, art inventories, scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeil Whistler and other press clippings, and photographs. In addition to Freer's own correspondence, the papers include correspondence collected by Freer of James McNeill Whistler and of Whistler collector Richard A. Canfield, correspondence of Freer's assistant Katharine Nash Rhoades, and correspondence regarding Freer's bequest to the Smithsonian Institution.
Correspondence, ca. 1860-1921, includes Freer's correspondence, 1876-1920, with artists, dealers, collectors, museums, and public figures; 30 v. of letterpress books containing copies of letters sent, 1892-1910; correspondence collected by Freer of James McNeill Whistler, and his wife Beatrix, 186?-1909, with Lady Colin Campbell, Thomas R. Way, Alexander Reid, Whistler' mother, Mrs. George W. Whistler, and others; correspondence of Whistler collector Richard A. Canfield, 1904-1913, regarding works in Canfield's collection; and correspondence of Freer's assistant, Katharine Nash Rhoades, 1920-1921, soliciting Freer letters and regarding the settlement of his estate.
Also included are twenty-nine pocket diaries, 1889-1890, 1892-1898, 1900-1919, recording daily activities, people and places visited, observations, and comments; a diary kept by Freer's caretaker, Joseph Stephens Warring, recording daily activities at Freer's Detroit home, 1907-1910;
Inventories, n.d. and 1901-1921, of American, European, and Asian art in Freer's collection, often including provenance information; vouchers, 1884-1919, documenting his purchases; five volumes of scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeill Whistler, 1888-1931, labeled "Various," "Peacock Room," "Death, etc.," "Paris, etc.," and "Boston...London" ; three volumes of newsclippings, 1900-1930, concerning Freer and the opening of the Freer Gallery of Art;
correspondence regarding Freer's gift and bequest to the Smithsonian Institution, 1902-1916; and photographs, ca. 1880-1930, of Freer, including portraits by Alvin Langdon Coburn and Edward Steichen, Freer with others, Freer in Cairo, China and Japan, Freer's death mask, and his memorial service, Kyoto, 1930; photographs of artists and others, including Thomas Dewing, Ernest Fenellosa, Katharine Rhoades taken by Alfred Stieglitz, Rosalind B. Philip, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Abbott H. Thayer, Dwight Tryon, and Whistler; and photographs relating to Whistler, including art works depicting him, grave and memorial monuments, works of art, the Peacock Room, and Whistler's memorial exhibition at the Copley Society.
Among Freer's correspondents are: Otto Bacher, Bernard Berenson, Siegfried Bing, Laurence Binyon, W.K. Bixby, Sigisbert Chretien Bosch-Reitz, Charles H. Caffin, Colin Campbell, Richard Canfield, William Merritt Chase, Frederick Stuart Church, Alfred Vance Churchill, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Arthur Wesley Dow, Ernest Fenollosa, Albert Gallatin, John Gellatly, Frederick W. Gookin, Sadakichi Hartmann, Frank J. Hecker, Dikran Kelekian, M. Knoedler & Co., Berthold Laufer, Lien Hui Ching Collection, W.A. Livingstone, Frederick McCormick, Bunkio Matsuki, Gari Melchers, Agnes Meyer, Eugene Meyer, Charles Moore, Yozo Nomura, Rosalind Birnie Philip, Charles A. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Smithsonian Institution, Joseph Stephens Warring, Thomas Way, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Dwight W. Tryon, Charles Walcott of the Smithsonian Institution, Beatrix Whistler, James McNeill Whistler, K.T. Wong, Yamanaka & Co., and Seaouke Yue.
All correspondence except letterpress books: arranged alphabetically by correspondent; letterpress books are chonological.
Biographical / Historical:
Art collector; Detroit, Michigan. Collected Asian, American, and European art, including a large collection of works by James McNeill Whistler. Founded the Freer Gallery of Art, which is now part of the Smithsonian Institution.
Selected for microfilming from the Charles Lang Freer papers at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Microfilmed 1992 by the Archives of American Art with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Fellowships and Grants Research Resources Program. Portions of the correspondence and the letterpress books were previously filmed by the Freer in the 1970 (AAA reels 77, 453-456, and 1217-1232); those reels have been replaced by this microfilming project. See Finding Aid for information on papers not selected for microfilming.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Most of Stevenson's scientific notes are included as separate items in the series of numbered manuscript and the papers of John Peabody Harrington. This particular set of materials is made up of papers that passed into the hands of the executor of her estate. It consists of a miscellany of letters, notes, legal documents, cartographic materials, genealogical materials, photographs, newspaper clippsing, other printed material, and other types of documents. Although tehc ollection largely concerns Stevenson, it also includes some material of her husband, James Stevenson, and members of her family, especially her father, Alexander H. Evans, a Washington, D.C. attorney.
Many of the documents concern Stevenson's field work among the Pueblo Indians and other official duties with the Smithsonian. some material relates to her activities with the World's Columbian Exposition and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. A few items concern her membership in scientific organizations. Still other documents are of a personal nature, and some are mementoes, especially of James Stevenson. A significant group of documents concern Matilda CoxeStevenson's friendly and, later, very difficult relationship with Clara True.
The photographs include some items of ethnographic interest but it consists largely of portraits of James andMatilda Stevensonand Mrs. Stevenson's relatives. Also included are images in albums apparently gathered by Stevenson as a collector of photographs. They include images of Kit Carson, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and William Tecumseh Shermn. In the albums are also a nubmer of photographic portraits with unidentified subjects, many of whom appear to be actors and actresses.
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927 Search this
25 Items (2.5 linear inches (1 box)
Scope and Contents:
Materials kept by W.J. McGee's wife, Anita, pertaining to her husband. Contains W.J. McGee's obituary from The Evening Star; his memoir by N. H. Darton; notes on the life of McGee's father, James, as told by James to Anita; an article on McGee's daughter Klotho McGee Lattin which includes a brief section on McGee (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 24, 1971); a bibliography of his writings; reprints of his publications that he inscribed to Anita; three photographs of McGee; and a photo of Sir Archibald Geikei, John Wesley Powell, and Charles Doolittle Walcott taken in May 1897 by H.F. Reid.
NAA MS 2003-31
Other Archival Materials:
The photo of Sir Archibald Geikei, John Wesley Powell, and Charles Doolittle Walcott is the same image as NAA Inv 02864600, which is available to view online.
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927 Search this
0.9 Cubic feet (2 legal document boxes)
This collection consists of material relating to Manly's aeronautical career, specifically his work with Samuel Langley's Aerodrome. The material consists of programs, publications, newspaper clippings, work notebooks, waste books, (mostly letterpress) and correspondence between Manly and the aviation and Smithsonian communities, circa 1885-1925. Correspondents include the following personalities: Glenn Curtiss, Carl Myers, Charles Walcott, Frank Lahm, Cyrus Adler, Augustus Post, and Samuel Langley.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material relating to Manly's aeronautical career, specifically his work with Samuel Langley's Aerodrome. The material consists of programs, publications, newspaper clippings, work notebooks, waste books, (mostly letterpress) and correspondence between Manly and the aviation and Smithsonian communities, circa 1885-1925. Correspondents include Samuel Langley, Charles Walcott and Richard Rathbun of the Smithsonian; Cyrus Adler, Glenn Curtiss, Benjamin D. Foulois, Carl Myers, Frank Lahm, and Augustus Post. Of particular interest is the correspondence between Manly and Smithsonian Secretary Charles Walcott on Manly's work on the preparation of the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight for publication between 1908 to 1911; and his correspondence with Glenn Curtiss concerning the test flights of the rebuilt Great Aerodrome on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York, in 1914, and the resulting controversy between the Smithsonian and Orville Wright.
Researchers may also wish to consult the National Air and Space Archives Division's Samuel P. Langley Collection (Accession No. XXXX-0494), and these collections held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives:
Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.
Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907
Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.
The Charles M. Manly Papers are organized in three series:
Series I --Letter Copy Books and Notebooks
Letter copy books were used to make and preserve copies of letters and memoranda --one placed a sheet of oiled paper under a page of the copy book, dampened the tissue copy page, then laid the original letter in the book under pressure for a few seconds. The quality of the copies ranges from quite readable to very faint. Because of the fragility of the paper, Archives Division staff should be consulted before working with the material.
The two notebooks in the series (Folder 4) were carried by Manly in his day to day work on the Aerodrome project and contain his notes on the progress of the work.
Series II --Correspondence
Letters in this series are arranged by year.
Series III --Additional Material
Newspaper clippings, Manly Family records, a photograph of Langley's Aerodrome No.5 in flight, and miscellaneous material.
On May 9, 1898, Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley wrote to Professor Robert Thurston of Cornell University, looking for a "young man who is morally trustworthy ('a good fellow') with some gumption and a professional training" to serve as Langley's assistant in his aeronautical work. Thurston recommended a senior majoring in electrical and mechanical engineering, Charles Matthews Manly (1876-1927) of Staunton, Virginia. Langley hired Manly and placed him in charge of the construction of his Great Aerodrome, the large manned aircraft being built under the sponsorship of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortification. One of Manly's main contributions to the project was his vastly improved redesign of Stephen M. Balzer's five-cylinder water-cooled radial gasoline engine. Manly piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two unsuccessful launch attempts in 1903. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. Manly served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911. Manly was granted over fifty 50 patents relating to automotive transportation, power generation, and transmission. In 1929, Manly was posthumously awarded the Langley Medal for outstanding aeronautical achievements.
Brian Bailey, gift, 1998, 1999-0004, deed pending.
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of two scrapbooks kept by Glenn H. Curtiss and filled with photographs of himself and Samuel Langley. The photos show the two men and their experiments with Langley's aircraft, the Langley Aerodrome. The trial flights were conducted on Lake Kewka, near Hammondsport, NY. Each photo is labeled with a caption and a date. The second (chronologically) book of the set is a continuation of the photos of the Langley experiments by Glenn H. Curtiss, and while the photos are numbered, they have no captions or labeling on them. Some dates are available on the photos. Curtiss' autograph appears inside the cover of one scrapbook.
Biographical / Historical:
Nine days before the Wright brothers' first successful flight, Smithsonian Secretary Samuel Langley had the trial for his steam-powered machine, called the Great Aerodrome. Heavily funded by the United States government, the Aerodrome broke apart almost immediately upon takeoff in a highly-publicized event, and Langley and the Smithsonian Institution suffered embarrassment over the incident. After Langley passed away in 1906, his successor, Charles Walcott, claimed that although Langley may not have flown that December morning the Aerodrome was certainly capable of it. Walcott's "proof" was in a rebuilt version of Langley's Aerodrome, which was later successfully flown by American airplane manufacturer Glenn Curtiss. Curtiss, who was engaged in a patent suit with the Wright brothers, rebuilt and flew Langley's Aerodrome with 1914 modifications with the hope of showing the courts that the Wrights did not invent the airplane. While Curtiss eventually lost the patent suit, the flight was used by the Smithsonian to redeem Langley's role in the history of flight.
Glenn H. Curtiss, gift, unknown, XXXX-0294, NASM
No restrictions on access
Contents: Becker, G. F. San Francisco, California. June 24, 1884. 1 page. Asking to be relieved of an inefficient clerical helper. Bell, Alexander G. Washington, D. C. December 17, 1884. 1 page. Invitation to dinner. Croly, Mrs D. G. New York City. 1884. 3 pages. Requesting photographs for International Bazaar at Cassel, Germany. Cushing, Frank Hamilton. Shelter Island, New York. October 31, 1885. 4 pages. Expressing appreciation for Powell's consideration during Cushing's illness. Grant, U. S. New York City. August 23, 1883. 2 pages. Requesting job for a widow. Horsford, E. N. Cambridge, England. November 19, 1883. 4 pages. Expressing strong interest in Cushing's field work and notes, and concern for his health. McDonald, J. Wade. Winfield, Kansas. January 6, 1896. 1 page. Concerning Powell's "The Organization of Scientific Work." Minot, Charles F. Boston, Massachusetts. November 7, 1884. 1 page. Enclosing letters referring to chairmanship of Committee on the international Congress. (Letters returned.) Nestler, Julius. Prague, Austria. November 17, 1907. [Date correct; salutation, "Dear Sir."] Re his proposed expedition to Bolivia. Niblack, S. S. to Hon. W. Call. Lake City, Florida. January 19, 1884. 2 pages. Enclosed with letter to Powell (missing). Re employment of one of Niblack family. Owen, Edward T. Madison, Wisconsin. May 7, 1901. 3 pages. Transmitting his article on pronouns (?). Parkman, F[rancis]. Boston. April 12, 1882. 3 pages. Concerning Bandelier's expeditions; and impression of F. H. Cushing. Penafiel, Antonio. Mexico City. February 27, 1886. 1 page. 7 transl., 1 page. Transmitting publications. Powell, Joseph. Towanda, Pennsylvania. May 13, 1884. 2 pages. Genealogical inquiry. Powers, Stephen. Waterford, Ohio. December 31, 1880. 2 pages. Sayles, Ira. Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. August 16, 1885. 5 pages. Enclosing 2 poems on Ulysses S. Grant. Shaler, N. S. Cambridge, Massachusetts. October 17 and 26, 1886. 2, 2 pages. Social invitations. Spencer, Herbert. Bayswater, W., England. July 2, 1883. 4 pages. Expressing interest in the Annual Reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Tylor, Edward B. Oxford, England. May 16 and October 17, 1884. 4, 4 pages. Concerning his trip to the U. S. and Canada. Vogdes, A. W. Governor's Island, New York. October 2, 1884. 3 pages. Re attack on a party of hunters ca. 1873 by Sioux Indians near Fort Fetterman. Walcott, Charles D. New York City. July 28, 1881. 3 pages. Re increase in salary. Walker, , Supt. of Census. Washington, D. C. August, 7, 1880. 1 page. Enclosing William H. Hare to Gen. Walker, August 3, 1880, 1 page. Re conduct of Samuel D. Hinman. Welling, James C. Washington, D. C. September 7, 1884. 2 pages. October 3, 1884. 3 pages. Re Powell's making Inaugural Address at New School of Science and Arts of the University of .
Bailey Willis Glass Plate Photonegatives Collection consists of 160 glass plate photonegatives and 119 modern copy prints mostly of Japanese subjects. Depicting Meiji-era Japan and traditional paintings, the photographs are attributed to the prominent American geologist Bailey Willis, who travelled to Japan in 1904 in his return trip from China to the U.S. From 1903 to 1904, Willis led a scientific expedition to China to conduct geological and paleontological investigations under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The expedition was proposed by Dr. Charles D. Walcott, the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, who would become the fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1907. After the expedition, the Smithsonian Institution took custody of 375 glass plate photonegatives taken by Willis during his Chinese expedition. The current Willis Collection does not retain Chinese glass plate photonegatives, which appear to be housed in the Huntington Library. Twelve original prints of China are in the Charles Lang Freer Papers, acquired by Freer directly from Willis. The Willis Collection richly documents Japanese local scenes, people, buildings, industries, agriculture, and art. It also contains a small number of Middle Eastern and Western images. These photographs are thought to be taken and/or purchased by Willis during his short stay in Japan in 1904, although there is no direct evidence that Willis was the original photographer of any or all of these. Since there are many views of locations that Willis never visited, it seems likely that the plates were acquired from another photographer.
Box 1-3 Japanese paintings; Box 4-11 Japanese scenes; Box 12 Middle Eastern scenes, miscellaneous; Box 13 Western scenes, miscellaneous; Box 14 Japanese painting and scenes; Box 15 Japanese scenes
Biographical / Historical:
Bailey Willis was born at his parents' country estate at Idlewild-on-Hudson, near Cornwall, New York in 1857. He was the son of Nathaniel Parker Willis, a poet and journalist, and Cornelia (Grinnell) Willis of the prominent New England Grinnell family. His maternal granduncle, Henry Grinnell, was a benefactor of Arctic expeditions. His mother was instrumental in nurturing young Willis's interest in nature and exploration. After his father's death when Willis was ten years old, his mother, concerned about her son's "tendency to dream ineffectually," decided to train him in the stern disciplines of mathematics and science (Willis, A Yanqui in Patagonia 4). At the age of thirteen, Willis began schooling in Germany, where he received rigorous Prussian education.
Returning to New York in 1874, Willis entered the School of Mines at Columbia University, graduating with degrees in Mining Engineering in 1878 and Civil Engineering in 1879. After graduation Willis worked as an assistant for Raphael Pumpelly, a prominent geologist, by estimating iron and coal resources for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Geological work in the Pacific Northwest convinced Willis to support the preservation of Mount Rainier and its surroundings. The Mount Rainier National Park was established by law in 1899.
In 1882 Willis married his cousin Altona Holstein Grinnell. After her death in 1896, he married Margaret Delight Baker, daughter of anatomist Frank Baker. Margaret assisted Willis as draftsman and secretary.
Willis first earned international recognition as a geologist in the field of structural geology. Following the bankruptcy of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1884, Willis worked on assignments from the United States Geological Survey. While working in the southern Appalachian Mountains, he became interested in what had caused folding and faulting. By using laboratory experiments, Willis investigated the conditions causing the deformation of strata and published his new interpretation of the deformation in the report "The Mechanics of Appalachian Structure" (1893). This study established him as one of the country's leading structural geologists. His later book Geologic Structures (1923) went into three editions.
In addition to geological studies in the United States, Willis actively engaged himself in foreign expeditions throughout his life. From 1903 to1904, Willis led a scientific expedition to China under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. With Eliot Blackwelder, an associate geologist, and R. H. Sargent, a topographer, the expedition investigated the geomorphology, stratigraphy, and paleontology of the country. The result of the expedition appeared as Research in China in 1907, which won a gold medal from the Geographic Society of France. Furthermore, in recognition of this work, Willis was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Berlin in 1910. In the same year the Argentine government invited Willis to conduct a geological survey of Patagonia for the region's irrigation potential.
In 1915, at age 59, Willis accepted a position of Chairman of the Department of Geology at Stanford University, where he remained affiliated as a professor emeritus after his retirement. In California, Willis extended his research to the area of seismology, and served as President of the Seismological Society of America. Believing in the permanence of continents, he held an oppositional view to the continental drift theories. In 1949, Willis died in Palo Alto, California at age 91.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Four letters between Charles D. Walcott and others. Included are three 1908 letters from Herbert Adams to Charles Walcott, from Walcott to J. Scott Hartley, Secretary of the National Sculpture Society and from Hartley to Walcott, relating to the election of Herbert Adams as the representative of the National Sculpture Society to the Advisory Committee of the National Gallery of Art; and one letter from Frederick Dellenbaugh to Walcott, 1913, in which Dellenbaugh inquires if the Smithsonian Institution would be interested in purchasing oil sketches he painted during the Harriman Expedition to Alaska in 1899.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles D. Walcott (1850-1927) was an art administrator and geologist in Washington, D.C. Walcott served as the fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1907 until his death in 1927.
Transferred 1981 and 2015 from the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ Portrait Gallery Library.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927 Search this
108.59 cu. ft. (16 record storage boxes) (84 document boxes) (1 half document box) (1 12x17 box) (2 16x20 boxes) (8 5x8 boxes) (oversized materials and framed panoramas)
1851-1940 and undated
The Charles D. Walcott Collection Papers (Record Unit 7004) were given to the Smithsonian Institution by his wife, Mary Vaux Walcott, with certain more recent additions.
The Archives would like to thank Dr. Ellis L. Yochelson, United States Geological Survey, and Frederick J. Collier, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural
History, for their assistance in transferring items from the Walcott family and the Department for inclusion in this collection.
The Charles D. Walcott Collection documents his personal, professional, and official life as well as activities of his family. Included are papers from his scientific
and educational activities at the local and national levels, his career as a paleontologist, his administrative career with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and
to a lesser extent with the Smithsonian, and material on one of his sons' participation in World War I. Some of the collection postdates Walcott's life, including condolences
to his family, an unpublished biography, correspondence between the biographer and Mrs. Walcott, and paleontological field notes by some of his colleagues.
For records relating to Walcott's family there are diaries; photographs; and correspondence with his children, his last two wives, and other family members. There is a
considerable amount of material consisting of correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, publications, and official documents from the French and German governments concerning
Benjamin Stuart Walcott's involvement with the Lafayette Flying Corps in France during World War I and efforts to establish a memorial in France for the Corps. Other personal
records include legal documents; personal financial records; and family correspondence concerning financial investments in power companies, the prolonged illness and death
of his son Charles, the death of his wife, Helena, and his daughter's travels through Europe.
Walcott's professional life is divided between his service with the USGS and the Smithsonian. Documenting his USGS years are photographs; speeches; scrapbooks; reports
and correspondence from his work on forest reserves, the investigation of scientific work conducted by the federal government, and land reclamation; and annual reports. Walcott's
Smithsonian career is documented primarily by correspondence written while serving as honorary curator of paleontology and Acting Assistant Secretary in charge of the United
States National Museum. One scrapbook includes extensive correspondence from scientists, government officials, and friends upon the occasion of Walcott's appointment as Secretary
of the Smithsonian. For a more complete record of Walcott's association with the Smithsonian, the records of the Office of the Secretary (Record Units 45 and 46), records
of the Assistant Secretary, Acting (Record Unit 56), and two special series relating to the budget (Record Unit 49) and to the Research Corporation (Record Unit 51) should
For Walcott's career as a paleontologist, there is documentation in his field notes; publications of his as well as those of others in related areas; manuscripts; diaries;
and photographs, including panoramic views of the Rockies in Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana. In addition, there are paleontological field notes by Ray T. Bassler,
Charles Elmer Resser, and Edward Oscar Ulrich.
Walcott's role in promoting and developing national science policy is partially covered in the records relating to his involvement in the National Academy of Sciences,
National Research Council, Washington Academy of Sciences, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Included are legal documents, correspondence, committee minutes, reports,
proceedings, financial statements, membership lists, and related materials. Additional material on the Washington Academy of Sciences can be found in Record Unit 7099. Records
documenting Walcott's involvement in the administration and development of the other organizations exist at those institutions. His affiliation with the George Washington
Memorial Association is documented with correspondence, trustees' minutes, histories of the Association, and drawings and plans for a building. For other national developments
there is correspondence covering Walcott's participation on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
Other types of materials in this collection include certificates, diplomas, awards, and occasionally correspondence concerning his election to honorary and professional
societies and the receipt of honorary degrees, and scrapbooks and diaries which touch on events throughout his life.
See also the online exhibition "Beauty in Service to Science: The Panoramas of Charles D. Walcott."
Charles D. Walcott (1850-1927) was born in New York Mills, New York, and attended the Utica public schools and Utica Academy, but never graduated. He demonstrated an
early interest in natural history by collecting birds' eggs and minerals; and, while employed as a farm hand, he began collecting trilobites. These he later sold to Louis
Agassiz at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. Walcott began his professional scientific career in November 1876 when he was appointed as an assistant to James Hall,
New York's state geologist. On July 21, 1879, Walcott joined the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as an assistant geologist. Shortly after arriving in Washington, D.
C., he was sent to southwestern Utah to make stratigraphic sections. His later field work with the Survey included expeditions to the Appalachians, New England, New York,
eastern Canada, and several Middle Atlantic states, as well as other parts of southwestern and western United States. From 1882 to 1893 he worked with the Survey's invertebrate
Paleozoic paleontological collections, and in 1893 he was appointed Geologist in charge of Geology and Paleontology. He also served as an honorary curator of invertebrate
Paleozoic fossils at the United States National Museum (USNM) from 1892 to 1907, and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in charge of the USNM from
1897 to 1898. His fieldwork from this period resulted in several major publications, including The Paleontology of the Eureka District (1884), a study of fossils in
Nevada; The Fauna of the Olenellus Zone (1888) concerning early North American Cambrian fossils; Correlation Papers on the Cambrian (1890); and Fossil Medusae
(1898). In 1894 Walcott was appointed Director of the USGS. Serving until 1907, he greatly expanded the functions of the agency and was successful in increasing federal appropriations.
In 1891 Congress had given the President the authority to establish public forests, but it was not until 1897 that the administration of the forest reserves was placed under
the USGS. Walcott was instrumental in having legislation passed to enforce the preservation of forest reserves and to add additional land to the reserve program. His predecessor
at the USGS initiated an arid land reclamation program in 1888 which Walcott continued as part of his forest reserve program. In 1902 he established the Hydrographic Branch
to administer the program; but four years later the Branch, since renamed the Reclamation Service, became a separate federal agency. He also created the Division of Mineral
Resources to experiment with coal combustion. In 1907 it was renamed the Bureau of Mines. At the request of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, Walcott served as chairman
of a committee to study the scientific work being conducted by the federal government.
Walcott was appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on January 31, 1907, and resigned from the USGS in April 1907. His administration at the Smithsonian was
marked by numerous accomplishments, including the completion of the National Museum Building (now the National Museum of Natural History) in 1911. He was also successful in
convincing Detroit industrialist Charles Lang Freer to donate his extensive Oriental art collection and money for a building during his lifetime rather than after Freer's
death, as was originally intended. Walcott also set up the National Gallery of Art (predecessor to the National Museum of American Art) as a separate administrative entity
in 1920. To administer Frederick G. Cottrell's gift of patent rights to his electrical precipitator, the Research Corporation was formed in 1912, with revenue from this patent,
as well as future ones, to be used to advance scientific research at the Smithsonian and other educational institutions. Walcott served on the Corporation's Board of Directors
for several years. To further increase the Smithsonian's endowment, Walcott was planning a major fundraising effort; but this was not pursued following his death an February
9, 1927. In 1922, he and his wife established a fund in their names at the Smithsonian to support paleontological research.
Despite his many administrative responsibilities as Secretary, Walcott was able to find time to continue his research and collecting of fossils from the Cambrian and Ordovician
periods, with primary focus on the Canadian Rockies. In 1909 he located Cambrian fossils near Burgess Pass above Field, British Columbia. The following season he discovered
the Burgess shale fauna, which proved to be his greatest paleontological discovery. Most of this research was published in various volumes of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous
Collections from 1908-1931. His one major publication during this period was Cambrian Brachiopoda, published in 1912. Walcott continued to return to the Canadian
Rockies for most seasons through 1925, when he made his last field expedition. As one of the foremost scientific figures in Washington, Walcott helped to establish several
organizations with international renown and restructure existing national organizations. In 1902, Walcott, along with several other prominent individuals, met with Andrew
Carnegie to establish the Carnegie Institution of Washington as a center for advanced research and training in the sciences. Walcott served the Institution in several administrative
capacities. He was also instrumental in convincing Carnegie that the Institution should have laboratories built for scientists rather than use his gift solely for research
Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1896, Walcott played a role in having the Academy become more actively involved in national science policy by serving in
many official capacities. In addition to serving on innumerable committees, he held the offices of treasurer, vice president, president, and council member. He was also appointed
to two presidential committees--Timber Utilization and Outdoor Recreation--in 1924 and was reappointed to both in 1926. He was the Academy's first recipient of the Mary Clark
Thompson Medal. Following his death, his wife established the Charles Doolittle Walcott Fund for achievements in Cambrian research.
In 1916 the Academy, at the request of President Woodrow Wilson, created the National Research Council within the Academy to assist the federal government in the interest
of national preparedness. Walcott, as one who met with Wilson, became actively involved in the organization of the Council by sitting on many of its committees, including
one which planned for the present headquarters of the Council and the Academy. Walcott contributed significantly to the development of American aviation. He pressed for the
establishment of the National Advisory Committee for Aviation, which was a predecessor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He was instrumental in establishing
air mail service, organizing the Committee on Aerial Photographic Surveying and Mapping, and writing the Air Commerce Act of 1926. Besides his scientific activities, Walcott
lent his influence to other groups, such as the George Washington Memorial Association. That group attempted to create a memorial to Washington by forming an institution to
promote science, literature, and the arts, just as Washington had proposed should be done.
Walcott was married three times - to Lura Ann Rust (d. 1876), to Helena Breese Stevens (d. 1911), and to Mary Morris Vaux (d. 1940). By his second wife he had four children:
Charles Doolittle, Sidney Stevens, Helen Breese, and Benjamin Stuart. Charles died while a student at Yale, and Benjamin was killed in action in France while flying for the
Lafayette Flying Corps. In 1914 Walcott married Mary Morris Vaux, who, while accompanying him on his field trips, studied and painted North American wildflowers. Her work
was published in five volumes by the Smithsonian in 1925.
Although Walcott never received an academic degree, he was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. His
colleagues recognized his contribution to paleontology by awarding him the Bigsby and Wollaston Medals from the Geological Society of London; the Gaudry Medal of the Geological
Society of France; and the Hayden Medal from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He also served as a founder and president, 1899-1910, of the Washington Academy
of Sciences; president of the Cosmos Club, 1898; president, 1915-1917, of the Washington Branch of the Archeological Institute of America; and president, 1925-1927, of the
American Philosophical Society.
March 31, 1850 -- Born in New York Mills, New York
1858-1868 -- Attended public schools in Utica, New York, and Utica Academy
1863 -- Began collecting natural history specimens
1871 -- Moved to Trenton Falls, New York, to work on William P. Rust's farm and began collecting trilobites
January 9, 1872 -- Married Lura Am Rust
1873 -- Sold collection of fossils to Louis Agassiz at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology
January 23,1876 -- Lura Ann Walcott died
November 1876 -- Appointed assistant to Janes Hall, state geologist of New York
1876 -- Joined American Association for the Advancement of Science
July 21, 1879 -- Appointed Assistant Geologist, United States Geological Survey (USGS)
1879 -- Assisted Clarence Edward Dutton in Grand Canyon region in south-central Utah and the Eureka district in Nevada
July 1, 1882 -- Placed in charge of Division of Invertebrate Paleozoic Paleontology at USGS
1882 -- Elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science
-- Field work in Nevada and Grand Canyon
1883 -- Promoted to Paleontologist, USGS
-- Field work in Grand Canyon and Cambrian studies in Adirondacks and northwestern Vermont
1884 -- Field work in Cambrian fossils in western Vermont; coal deposits in central Arizona; and Lower Paleozoic of Texas' central mineral region; Published first major paper The Paleontology of the Eureka District (USGS Monograph 8)
1885 -- Field work on Cambrians in Highland Range of central Nevada; Permian fossils of southwestern Utah; and Cambrian fossils in Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City
1886 -- Published "Classification of the Cambrian System in North America"
-- Cambrian field work in northern New York and western Vermont
1887 -- Cambrian field work in New York, western Massachusetts, and southwestern Vermont
1888 -- Married Helena Breese Stevens; Attended International Geological Congress in London; Placed in charge of all invertebrate paleontology at USGS; Published The Fauna of the Olenellus Zone which discusses Cambrian fossils in North America; Field work in Wales and on Canadian-Vermont border
May 17, 1889 -- Son Charles Doolittle born
1889 -- Cambrian field work in North Carolina, Tennessee, Mohawk Valley of New York, Vermont, and Quebec
1890 -- Published Correlation Papers on the Cambrian; Cambrian strata field work in New York and Vermont and Ordovician strata field work in Colorado Springs, Colorado
1891 -- Field work in New York, Colorado, and Appalachians from Virginia to Alabama
October 2, 1892 -- Son Sidney Stevens born
1892 -- Placed in charge of all paleontological work at USGS; Field work in southern Pennsylvania and western Maryland
1892-1907 -- Honorary curator of invertebrate Paleozoic fossils at United States National Museum (USNM)
January 1, 1893 -- Appointed Geologist in charge of Geology and Paleontology, USGS
1893 -- Vice President, Section E (Geology and Geography), American Association for the Advancement of Science; Examined Lower Paleozoic rocks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee; Prepared paleontological exhibition for Chicago's Columbian Exposition
August 20, 1894 -- Daughter Helen Breese born
1894 -- Placed in charge of all paleontological collections at USNM; Appointed Director, USGS; Field work in central Colorado and White Mountain Range in California and Nevada
1895 -- Cambrian field work in Montana, Idaho, and Massachusetts
July 8, 1896 -- Son Benjamin Stuart born
1896 -- Joined National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Field work in eastern California and western Nevada and Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Texas
January 27, 1897 -- Appointed Acting Secretary in Charge of the USNM
1897 -- Conducted examination of forest reserves and national parks in Black Hills, Big Horn Mountains, and Inyo Mountains
June 30, 1898 -- Resigned as Acting Assistant Secretary in Charge of the USNM
1898 -- Field work in Lexington, Virginia; Teton Forest Reserve, Wyoming; Belt Mountains near Helena, Montana; and Idaho; President of the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.; Published Fossil Medusae (USGS Monograph 30)
1899 -- Field work in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Quebec; One of the founders of the Washington Academy of Sciences
1899-1911 -- President of the Washington Academy of Sciences
1900 -- Field work in Montana and Rhode Island
1901 -- Field work in Pennsylvania
January 4, 1902 -- One of the founders of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) and Secretary of the Board of Incorporators
1902 -- Member of the Advisory Committee on Geology and Advisory Committee on Geophysics of CIW
1902-1905 -- Secretary of Board of Trustees and of Executive Committee of CIW
1902-1922 -- Member, Executive Committee of Board of Trustees of CTW
1902-1923 -- Member of Council of NAS
1902-1927 -- Member, Board of Trustees, CIW
1903 -- Head of Board of Scientific Surveys, CIW; Field work in Uinta Mountains, Utah; House Range of western Utah; Snake River Range of eastern Nevada; Chairman of committee to study scientific work conducted by federal government
1904-1913 -- Honorary Curator, Department of Mineral Technology, USNM
1905 -- Field work in Montana's Rocky Mountains and Cambrian fossils of Utah's House Range
January 31, 1907 -- Appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
April 1907 -- Resigned as Director of the USGS
1907 -- Field work at Mount Stephen, Castle Mountains, Lake Louise, and Mount Bosworth in British Columbia
1907-1917 -- Vice President of NAS
1908 -- Field work in Montana, British Columbia, and Alberta
1909 -- Found Cambrian fossils near Burgess Pass above Field, British Columbia
1910 -- Found Burgess shale fauna
June 20, 1911 -- National Museum Building (now the National Museum of Natural History) completed
July 11, 1911 -- Wife Helena died in train accident in Bridgeport, Connecticut
1911 -- Field work in British Columbia
1912 -- Field work in Alberta and British Columbia; Published Cambrian Brachiopoda (USGS Monograph 51)
April 7, 1913 -- Son Charles Doolittle died
1913 -- Burgess shale work in Robson Park district, British Columbia, and in Jasper Park, Alberta
June 30, 1914 -- Married Mary Morris Vaux
1914 -- Field work in Glacier, British Columbia, and White Sulphur Springs and Deep Creek Canyon, Montana
1914-1927 -- Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees, CIW
1915 -- Living algae field work in Yellowstone National Park and West Gallatin River; fossil field work in Arizona 1915-1917; President, Washington Branch of the Archeological Institute of America
1915-1919 -- Chairman, Executive Committee of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
June 30, 1916 -- Elected member of National Research Council (NRC)
October 1916 -- Freer Gallery of Art building construction begun
1916 -- Field work in British Columbia and Alberta
1916-1923 -- First Vice Chairman, NRC
December 12, 1917 -- Son Benjamin Stuart died in military action in France
1917 -- Appointed member of NRC's Executive Committee, Aeronautics Committee, and Geology and Paleontology Committee; Chairman, NRC's Military Committee; Burgess shale field work around Lake MacArthur and in Vermilion River Valley
1917-1922 -- Chairman, Executive Committee, CIW
1917-1923 -- President, NAS
June 1918 -- Helped organize National Parks Educational Committee (became National Parks Association in 1919)
1918 -- Field work in Alberta; Member, NRC's Interim Committee; Chairman, NRC's Military Division and Section on Aeronautics
1918-1919 -- Chairman, National Parks Educational Committee
1919 -- Field work in Alberta; Chairman, NRC's Committee on Scientific Men as Reserve officers in Reorganized Army; Chairman, NRC's Committee on Removal of Offices of National Research Council; Chairman, NRC's Committee on Representation of United States at International Meetings to be held at Brussels
1919-1920 -- Member, NRC's Committee on General Policy and Solicitation of Funds; Chairman, NRC's Government Division
1919-1922 -- Member, NRC's Committee on Federal Grants for Research; Chairman, NRC's Committee on Publication of "The Inquiry" Results
1919-1924 -- Member, NRC's Research Information Service
1919-1925 -- Member, NRC's Executive Board
1919-1926 -- Member, National Parks Association's Executive Committee
1919-1927 -- Chairman, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
-- Chairman, NRC's Division of Federal Relations; Member, NRC's Executive Committee of Division of Federal Relations
1920 -- Field work in Alberta
1920-1921 -- Member, NAS's Federal Relations Committee
1920-1922 -- Chairman, Committee on Budget (jointly with NAS and NRC); Member, NRC's Committee on Building Stone and Committee on Building Plans
1921 -- Field work in Alberta
1921 -- Freer Gallery of Art building completed; Received first Mary Clark Thompson Medal from NAS
1921-1924 -- President, National Parks Association
1921-1927 -- Chairman, NRC's Executive Committee of Division of Federal Regulations
1922 -- Field work in Alberta and British Columbia; Established Charles D. and Mary Vaux Walcott Fund at Smithsonian
1922-1923 -- Member, NRC's Committee on Stabilization of Permanent Foundations; Chairman, Committee on Finance (jointly with NAS and NRC)
1922-1925 -- Member, NRC's Committee on Building; Member, NRC's Committee on Policies
1923 -- Field work in Alberta and British Columbia; President, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Freer Gallery of Art opened
1923-1924 -- Chairman, Committee on Dedication of the New Building (jointly with NAS and NRC)
1923-1925 -- Member, NRC's Interim Committee; Member, Executive Committee, Committee on Exhibits in the New Building (jointly with NAS and NRC)
1923-1927 -- Second Vice Chairman, NRC
1924 -- Field work in Alberta and British Columbia
1924-1925 -- Member, Committee on Exhibits (jointly with NAS and NRC)
1925 -- Field work in Alberta; Life Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1925-1927 -- President, American Philosophical Society
1926 -- Helped draft Air Commerce Act of 1926
1926-1927 -- Board of Trustees, National Parks Association