Clarence King: A Biography

By Thurman Wilkins | Go to book overview

One
ENTER CLARENCE KING

Dawn had broken over southern Wyoming, and a threat of snow hung in the air as a young man rode his mule out on a badlands terrace a day's march from Black Butte Station. He wore buckskin breeches; a military surcoat emphasized the stockiness of his physique, for though he was shorter than average, his body was muscular and well developed. A beard covered his jaws and chin, a close- cropped beard, light brown, but streaked with yellower shades. Sun and wind had darkened the natural ruddiness of his complexion, but outdoor life had failed to coarsen his youthful appearance. Clarence King, United States Geologist, looked younger than his twenty-nine years.

He felt tired and worn, however. Autumn in 1871 had settled over the mountain country with extraordinary bitterness, and at the end of a hard season in the field its rigors had left King all but exhausted. Rheumatic pains ran through his back and shoulders, reminders of the deep snows, the winds, and the cold that had nearly trapped his survey party in the uplands of the Uinta. The ache had grown through days of hunger, days of eating only broiled venison and the cook's "hot rocks," a near starvation fare; for the party's supplies were running out.

The rest of the company followed close behind. King could

-1-

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Clarence King: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • One - Enter Clarence King 1
  • Two - The Wind's Will 17
  • Three The Yale Years 31
  • Four Shasta, Here We Come 42
  • Five Rooftop Of the West 60
  • Six - End Of Apprenticeship 77
  • Seven - Along The Fortieth Parallel 93
  • Eight From Washoe To The Rockies 112
  • Nine - "Mountaineering. . ." 132
  • Eleven - The Pass Beyond Youtih 173
  • Twelve - "Systematic Geology" 194
  • Thirteen Cattle Baron 217
  • Fourteen - Merging The Surveys 230
  • Fifteen - Director Of Geology 244
  • Sixteen - Treasures Of The Sierra Madre 264
  • Seventeen - European Interlude 283
  • Eighteen - Silver Clouds And Darker Linings 299
  • Nineteen - Panic 323
  • Twenty - Ebb Tide 341
  • Selected Bibliography 357
  • Notes 379
  • Index 417
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