On Her Own Terms: Annie Montague Alexander and the Rise of Science in the American West

By Barbara R. Stein | Go to book overview

4
Africa, 1904

It came as no surprise to Samuel's family and friends when he announced plans to embark on an African safari in the summer of 1904. Neither did the inclusion of Annie. If the invitation surprised her, she gave no hint of it. She readily assented, unable to forego the expedition's lure of adventure. Her purpose would be to collect wildlife, both on film and as trophies. “[T]he opportunity is one of a lifetime, ” she confided to Martha. 1

Although the thought of reducing now scarce populations of game mammals for sport alone offends modern sensibilities, in 1904 the African landscape was relatively undisturbed and its wildlife flourishing. The part of British East Africa that Samuel had selected for their safari was considered at the time to be the greatest hunting ground on the entire African continent, if not in the world. He envisioned an expedition that would traverse a distance of almost 800 miles, beginning several hundred miles northwest of Mombasa near Nakuru and continuing west to the terminal point of the Uganda railroad at Port Florence, approximately 580 miles inland (see the route of the 1904 trip, in Map 1). Henry Stanley and David Livingstone had explored much of this region during the last half of the nineteenth century and their reports had piqued the interest and excitement of adventurers and armchair travelers alike.

Alexander wrote to Merriam about her change in plans for the coming field season. Wishing to be as helpful and solicitous as possible toward his new patron, the paleontologist took it upon himself to speak with President Wheeler about how the two might be of assistance to the expedition. They agreed to write letters of introduction, documents that might prove useful to Samuel should the party encounter any political entanglements or questions about the expedition's legitimacy while crossing the “dark continent. ” 2

Unlike Merriam, Samuel did not feel obligated to include a second

-35-

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On Her Own Terms: Annie Montague Alexander and the Rise of Science in the American West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • On Her Own Terms *
  • 1 - Samuel Alexander and Henry Baldwin 3
  • 2 - Life in Oakland 13
  • 3 - A Passion for Paleontology 22
  • 4 - Africa, 1904 35
  • 5 - Meeting C. Hart Merriam 48
  • 6 - Alaska, 1906 58
  • 7 - Meeting Joseph Grinnell 63
  • 8 - Founding a Museum of Vertebrate Zoology 76
  • 9 - An Unusual Collaboration 88
  • 10 - Louise and Prince William Sound 97
  • 11 - Support for Paleontology 107
  • 12 - Hearst, Sather, Flood 114
  • 13 - Innisfail Ranch 120
  • 14 - Vancouver Island and the Trinity Alps 138
  • 15 - The Team of Alexander and Kellogg 148
  • 16 - From “a Friend of the University” 155
  • 17 - Founding a Museum of Paleontology 165
  • 18 - A Restless Decade 181
  • 19 - Europe, 1923 190
  • 20 - The Temple Tour 203
  • 21 - The “amoeba Treatment” 214
  • 22 - Fieldwork–the Later Years 224
  • 23 - Saline Valley 244
  • 24 - The End of an Era 253
  • 25 - Hawaii–“my Only Real Home” 261
  • 26 - The Switch to Botany 274
  • 27 - Baja California–tres Mujeres Sin Miedo 290
  • 28 - Investing in the Future 299
  • 29 - An Enduring Legacy 308
  • Epilogue 315
  • Appendix 317
  • Notes 321
  • Index 359
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